UPDATE: In a statement sent to the Huffington Post UK, Vivienne Westwood said: "My comments were related to eating less meat. People are eating far too much factory farmed meat and junk food which is bad for you and not providing the nutrients you need. You can source good food and farmed meat for less money."
Dame Vivienne Westwood has said that people who can’t afford to buy organic food should simply "eat less".
The millionaire fashion designer made the comments as she delivered a letter to Downing Street signed by 57 million people worried about genetically modified food.
When a BBC Radio 5 Live interviewer pointed out to the catwalk icon: "not everybody can afford to eat organic food", she replied: "Eat less!"
And the designer wasn't able to give a clear answer when the reporter continued to explain that many in the UK are forced to visit food banks so eating less isn’t exactly an option.
"They don’t have any choice – this is the point, isn’t it," she said.
"You’ve got all these processed foods, which is the main reason people are getting fat. They’re not actually good for you - they don’t give you strength, they give you weight.
"I eat vegetables and fruit. I don’t eat meat. I believe meat is bad for me so I don’t eat it. It’s also bad for the animals.
"If there was a movement to produce more organic food and less of the horrible food, then organic food would obviously be a good value price, wouldn’t it?"
She then encouraged her fans to follow the advice of controversial comedian-turned-political commentator Russell Brand saying "he’s got a rule of thumb."
"If the government says its good, then you know it’s not. Most people agree with this. They know what the government are up to. Everything they say is rubbish, everything they do is dangerous," she said in the interview, for 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition.
“The big companies, agri-business, are absolutely destroying the Earth… the ground is turning to sand. We know very well that the most efficient way of feeding the world is through ‘what’s good for the planet is good for people’”.
Others were less convinced:
Dear proles, it's home grown organic quinona or nothing. Vivienne http://t.co/S3xzty0bXI— Clarissa (@MisanthropeGirl) November 12, 2014
Dame Westwood has previously said that being a vegetarian can cure the disabled.
Discussing the health benefits of choosing a veggie lifestyle, the fashion designer, 72, said people in wheelchairs have recovered due to a meat-free diet.
She also argued she living proof of the apparently miracle diet, claiming that it healed rheumatism in her finger.
“There are certain clinics where it is really strict vegetarian and there are people who have been in wheelchairs who have recovered from this diet," she said.
“It does cure all kinds of things if you have a vegetarian diet,” she added. “I used to have rheumatism — and I have a crocked finger.
“But now I don’t have any rheumatic pain any more.”
However, a number of disability groups were not left overly impressed by her claims.
A spokesperson for spinal injury charity Aspire said the comments had “a total lack of medical evidence”.
“These so-called cures create false hope in the immediate aftermath of a life-changing injury and can cause significant harm,” they added.