SYDNEY, Dec 29 (AFP): Australian government scientists who produced a diet book that outsold the latest Harry Potter blockbuster have rejected criticism from the leading international science journal Nature.
An editorial in this month's edition of Nature questions the research behind the high-protein diet and says the marketing of the book as scientifically proven was "decidedly unsavoury".
It also criticises Australia's respected Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for attaching its name to a diet book, saying its reputation could be damaged.
The CSIRO's Total Wellbeing Diet has sold more than 550,000 copies since its release this year, knocking both Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code off the top of the bestseller lists.
It is now available in Britain and New Zealand and is due to be translated into several languages.
One of the co-authors, Manny Noakes, told Australian national radio Thursday she believed the commercial success of the book had attracted the scathing review in Nature.
"Whenever science goes into the public domain and becomes a commercial success, there's always criticism from the establishment," she said.