Pete Evans’ publisher has defended its decision to publish his latest cookbook, as the controversial celebrity chef continues to promote conspiracy theories – Business Insider Australia

  • More than 7,000 people have signed a petition addressed to Pan Macmillan, calling on the publisher to stop publishing Pete Evans because of his promotion of conspiracy and anti-public health views.
  • The publisher has confirmed their plans to publish Evans’ latest cookbook, saying the author has helped “hundreds of thousands” of Australians with his books.
  • Australia’s peak body for doctors has repeatedly criticised Evans for promoting pseudoscience ideas.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Pan Macmillan has stood firm in its support for celebrity chef and conspiracy theorist Pete Evans, as thousands of people sign a petition calling for publisher to dump the author.

Later this month, Pac MacMillan’s imprint Plum is set to release “The Complete Keto Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide”, It’s the latest book authored by Evans, who has been Australia’s “top health and wholefood author” for the past three years, according to the publisher.

But the decision to publish Evans comes amid intensified scrutiny of the former television host and his promotion of health misinformation and conspiracy theories to his 1.75 million followers across Facebook and Instagram.

While he has long promoted anti-vaccine and anti-fluoride views, Evans’ has pivoted to full-blown endorsement of the QAnon conspiracy theory, COVID-19 denialism and other fringe and extreme beliefs in 2020.

Pan Macmillan has defended their decision to publish his latest book, citing their long-standing relationship with the author.

“Pan Macmillan has had a successful publishing relationship with Pete Evans since 2014. The company has published 15 books of recipe and food-related content that is healthy, safe and nutritious,” a spokesperson told Business Insider Australia.

“These books have been bought in the hundreds of thousands by people who admire his food ethos and has led to him being Australia’s number one selling Australian wholefood author for the past three years.”

Meanwhile, a Change.org petition called Stop Pete Evans is asking Pan Macmillan to end their relationship with author.

“We implore his publisher to cease publishing any more of his cookbooks until he ceases promoting his dangerous conspiracy theories. If he won’t listen to scientific reason perhaps he’ll listen to his accountant,” petition creator Stephen Massey wrote.

Australian Medical Association President Omar Khorshid has joined those criticising Evans, telling the Daily Telegraph that the former television host should leave the health advice to trained professionals.

“If someone who compares COVID-19 to Barney the dinosaur and calls three of the most notorious anti-vaxxers ‘heroes’ can be ‘Australia’s leading health author’, then I’ve still got a chance of running out for the West Coast Eagles in the grand final,” he said.

It’s not the first time Pan Macmillan has been forced to respond to Evan’s controversial views.

In 2015, the publisher abandoned plans to publish Evan’s diet book for babies following criticism from health professionals.

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