Skip navigation

Doctors call for MasterChef to turn off the gas

Doctors call on the popular cooking show MasterChef Australia to reconsider its sponsorship deal with Australian Gas Network (AGN). They fear the deal may discourage viewers to replace their gas cookers with healthier alternatives– placing Australians, and especially children, at greater risk of illnesses such as asthma.

Medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) says that for a child with asthma who lives in a home with a gas stove, 30% of their risk of asthma is from this appliance.

When gas is burnt, it releases a number of toxic air pollutants, including the carcinogen benzene, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a respiratory irritant with links to asthma.

Says DEA's Executive Director and GP Dr Kate Wylie, "MasterChef has a powerful presence in the lives of many hundreds of thousands of Australian households. 

“Unfortunately, its promotion of gas cooking may mislead viewers. Not only is gas bad for you and your family, it's undermining efforts to transition away from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy.

"The deal with AGN to use "renewable gas" - some biomethane and some hydrogen- has all the health problems as ordinary methane gas.”

The call follows a letter to MasterChef Australia by health and environment groups, including DEA, that sends a clear message to the cooking show to lead by example.  Its international counterparts in the UK, Italy, Singapore, Denmark and Spain have been cooking on induction cooktops for many years.

In Victoria where MasterChef is filmed, the State government has banned gas connections in all new homes. 

Says, DEA's Victoria Co-Chair, Dr Ben Dunne, "It is extremely disappointing to see Masterchef allow the fossil fuel industry to use the show as a platform for greenwashing. The health impacts of burning biomethane or hydrogen in people's kitchens is just as bad as from fossil gas, as they release just as much nitrogen dioxide. 

“The climate impacts from continued gas use are undeniable and this attempt to mislead the public must be called out for what it is.”


Asthma and indoor gas appliances

Letter to MasterChef Australia

Media contact

Media and Communications Lead, Carmela Ferraro

[email protected] / 0410 703 074

Continue Reading

Read More