SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans has been fined thousands of dollars after promoting a “light machine” which he claimed could help treat coronavirus.
Evans was handed the AUS25,000 (USD16,000) fine on Friday over his claims the BioCharger device – which looks like a cross between a blender and a lava lamp – could be used to help beat the coronavirus.
“Just briefly, it’s programmed with about a thousand different recipes. There’s a couple on there for coronavirus,” Evans said in a Facebook live video published earlier this month.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against referring to the novel coronavirus by a specific geographical location over concerns such terms could lead to a rise in discrimination.
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said in a statement his claim had “no apparent foundation” and it had received a number of complaints about the livestream.
“Any claim that references COVID-19… is of significant concern to the TGA given the heightened public concern about the pandemic,” the regulator said in a statement.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President Harry Nespolon welcomed the fine and told people to ignore the paleo-pushing chef’s health advice, in a series of tweets on Friday.