The owner of a Florida clinic who has been attacked over his controversial claims about multiple sclerosis is scheduled to speak in B.C. on Wednesday, even after another speech was cancelled.
Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla. is booked to appear at an event titled, "The Power of Living Food to Avoid Disease and Conquer Aging" in Courtenay, a community on Vancouver Island.
But Amy Hadikin, a spokeswoman for the Courtenay event, told The Huffington Post B.C. that it's still going ahead, as was another appearance in Parksville.
Clement told a Montreal audience in September that patients had "reversed multiple sclerosis" while at his facility, according to a recording obtained by CBC News. The Hippocrates Health Institute aims to help people "actualize an existence free from premature aging, disease and needless pain."
At the Wholistic Fair event in September, Clement said he had seen "lots and lots of people over the years did that."
He was quoted saying, "A nurse that came to us two years ago was crippled, had braces on. By the time she left Hippocrates, she reversed the multiple sclerosis."
CBC's account of Clement's speech lined up with one recounted by Jonathan Jarry, a biological scientist who writes for The Body of Evidence, a site that responds to health "fantasies" and "nonsense."
Jarry attended the Wholistic Fair and saw Clement deliver a speech titled, "Food IS Medicine: The Scientific Evidence." He said Clement talked about subjects including fertility, nutrition and various diseases.
He criticized Clement's statement about MS, as well as various others.
At one point, Clement said pennyroyal tea he said can be used for contraceptive purposes, according to Jarry.
Jarry called the advice "alarming" and a "dangerous return to prescientific techniques." The scientist pointed out the herb used to make the tea is highly toxic to the liver when taken by mouth and can cause multi-organ failure.
Clements was at the centre of a controversy earlier this year after two First Nation girls with cancer travelled from their Ontario homes to be treated at his facility. They chose to stop chemotherapy and turn to natural remedies instead.
One of them, Makayla Sault, died in January. The other, who has only been identified as J.J., has left Hippocrates and is now undergoing chemo again.
A promotional video for the institute, which is no longer available online, featured Clement saying that raw vegetables and a positive attitude had helped "thousands and thousands of people reverse stage-four catastrophic cancer," The Toronto Star reported.
Sault's mother Sonya later clarified that her daughter visited the clinic in order to boost her immune system, not to be treated for cancer, CBC News reported.
Nevertheless, Clement was told to stop practising medicine, and was fined for saying he was a medical doctor, even though he isn't licensed to do so in Florida.
The fine was later dropped and officials with the state's Department of Health said they didn't have enough evidence to pursue legal action against him.
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