Kyle and Jackie O listeners were left furious after controversial chef Pete Evans aired his views on vaccination in an uninterrupted spiel that lasted for almost 20 minutes.
Fans took to social media to vent their frustrations over the radio duo not challenging Evans’ views, with some listeners claiming that the pair “back up” his statements.
Evans weighed in on the debunked fear that vaccines increase the risk of autism in children, but maintained he’s not “anti-vax”, but instead “pro-choice for medical freedom”.
“I have met so many mothers and their children that they have put their hand on their heart to me and said ‘Hey Pete, my boy or little girl was a healthy, functioning, beautiful child – and they’re still a beautiful child, but something happened’,” he said.
“When they got a shot one day, and within two hours, 12 hours or 24 – 48 hours, that little boy or girl completely changed their behaviour, completely changed their nature.”
He then added: “Before everyone’s going ‘shut up Pete Evans’, I believe in vaccines and I believe in safety of vaccines, I think there are amazing vaccines out there, but it doesn’t seem to work for everybody. There seems to be people affected by it.”
Kyle Sandilands added: “It’s like the COVID-19 thing. Some people end up in hospital on respirators, or dead, and some people get it and have no symptoms at all.”
However, Sandilands maintained that people need to “do their own research” before deciding whether to vaccinate their children.
“People need to do their own research on this. I know people who are like ‘Oh, you’ve gotta have your kids vaccinated against measles, mumps all this’ and others who say ‘Well I won’t be vaccinating my kids’. It’s one of those real split down the middle type of opinions with families,” he said.
Listeners were less than impressed, with one saying that they turned off their radio in frustration.
“How come our health minister, how come our government, how come the mainstream media over the last three to four months, have not one time talked about how to keep or build a strong, healthy, robust immune system with the information we must have?” He questioned.
“It certainly does make you think … Because what we’re fed by everyone and what we’ve thought our whole lives, sometimes is wrong,” Kyle offered.
Royal Australian College of GPs president Dr Harry Nespolon responded to the interview, explaining that it was “extremely disappointing”.
“Mr Evans may consider himself ‘pro-choice for medical freedom’ but the fact that his assertions were by all accounts barely challenged by the radio hosts makes this interview particularly problematic,” Dr Nespolon said.
“I think that all television networks, radio stations and publications have a responsibility to self-regulate and not provide platforms to people spreading dangerous and misleading information that can harm public health.
“If they do interview such individuals they need to at least challenge conspiracy theories and ‘advice’ contrary to expert medical opinion,” he added.
This article originally appeared on Over60.