She might have apologised for her slip up in her new book What Am I Supposed to Eat?, but Doctor Libby Weaver isn’t out of hot water yet.
The self-published nutritional biochemist has been forced to recall a second book that also uses the offensive term “mongolism.”
“In the last 24 hours my team and I have conducted a full review of all my books and discovered the word was also used in Beauty from the Inside Out and a process is underway for recall and reprint,” said Weaver.
In a further twist, Weaver has also been accused of plagiarism. Stuff.co.nz has reported IT worker Thomas Beagle Googled the paragraph in question and discovered passages in Weaver’s new book What Am I Supposed to Eat? bear a very close resemblance to work published by different authors.
It turns out that the very paragraph which Weaver has come under fire for, which uses the derogatory term “mongolism,” is almost identical to a portion of an article in the August/September 1997 issue of Nexus. The article, called “A Bitter Pill to Swallow: The Oral Contraceptives Betrayal”, was authored by naturopath Sherrill Sellman.
Sellman’s article reads: “Since folic acid is required by the body to facilitate cell division (a process that starts immediately after conception), there is a much higher risk of birth defects, including neural tube defects, spina bifida, deformed limbs and mongolism if this nutrient is deficient.” The extract from What Am I Supposed to Eat? is as below.
In the Elephant Journal article, Dr Rosenfeld writes:
“1. Throw out your scale and stop weighing yourself. Your child sees everything you do and seeing you weigh yourself has a significant impact on her perception of weight and body.
“2. Limit her access to television, magazines, and other places where unrealistic images of how girls and women should look are often presented.
“3. Talk about foods with regard to how they can nourish her body rather than their effects on her weight. Focus on health, not on calories, fats, or carbohydrates.”
Weaver’s writing, as below, is possibly too similar to be just a coincidence.
“1. Your daughter sees everything you do, and seeing you weigh yourself has a significant impact on her perception of weight and body…
“2. Limit access and exposure to (or closely monitor) television, magazines, social media and other places where unrealistic images of how girls and women should look are often presented…”
“3. Talk about foods with regard to how they can nourish your body rather than their effects on weight…
In a response to Stuff.co.nz Weaver has claimed she has never heard of Sherrill Sellman or Stacey Rosenfeld and could only assume they had read the same research as her and come to the same conclusions. “Over the last 25 years I have read in excess of 10,000 books, papers and journals and this, along with my clinical experience, has formed the basis of my work,” Weaver said. “I didn’t plagiarise.”
Weaver has also been accused of claiming that Down syndrome is preventable through diet. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a problem with chromosomes; those without Down syndrome have two copies of each chromosome, but a person with Down syndrome has three copies of chromosome 21.
“There is no way to prevent Down syndrome. However, the chance of having a child with Down syndrome increases as the age of the mother increases,” according to Harvard Medical School. “Genetic testing can help to determine the amount of risk.”