Brisbane-born fitness blogger Olivia Budgen has issued an apology on YouTube after she received fierce criticism for her controversial claims about cancer.
Fox News reported that the raw food enthusiast was slammed for writing in an Instagram caption: “Allow me to possibly challenge your beliefs about cancer and other diseases. What if these conditions were not actually bad at all? What if they were created by the body to help save you? What if disease is your body’s survival mechanism?”
Budgen went on to claim that people had been mislead “by the medical industry’s information” and encouraged her followers to “[be] open-minded and [change] your perspective” on cancer.
The post, published last week, has since been removed. The Mail reports that on Wednesday the young women issued an apology “to all of you who I offended”, explaining that her medical theories came from a book entitled Cancer Is Not a Disease – It’s a Survival Mechanism.
“Many of the statements made in his book [are] made by doctors, I really resonated with and was inspired to share them. In no way was I trying to minimise the seriousness of cancer. In retrospect, I did not reference the author correctly. I can see now that that was an error in my judgement. I want to thank you all for your assistance in bringing that to my attention," she said.
The book was published in 2009 by alternative health “expert” Andreas Moritz. Mortiz’s mysterious death in 2012, which his website claims was caused by “mold”, is rumored to have actually been related to cancer, in a dark contradiction of the beliefs he spent a lifetime promoting.
Many on social media remain angry about Olivia’s claims in spite of her apology and attempted explanation.
The Mail quoted one commenter who wrote, “'I'd tell my dad about this, but his healthy, body-saving lung cancer killed him.”
Another commented, “'Be very very careful Olivia. You are endangering lives with this information.”
Budgen’s insensitive social media activity drew comparisons to Belle Gibson, the wellness fraud and fake cancer survivor who was ordered to pay a fine of $410,000 after being found guilty of misleading and deceptive conduct earlier this year.