The Alliance For Natural Health

Journalist Uncovers Dietetics Board Campaign to Limit Speech and Competition

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nc dieteticWorking on a tip from ANH-USA, a reporter discovers internal documents detailing the true motives of the dietetics board. Action Alert!

In July we reported that the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is being sued because the board wanted to prevent a blogger, Steve Cooksey, from offering free nutrition advice based on personal experience—even to his friends over the phone.

ANH-USA has now spoken with several people investigated by that board, and we’ve learned that the Cooksey case was just the tip of an iceberg: the NC Board of Dietetics/Nutrition has been involved in the investigation and surveillance of nearly fifty people and organizations in North Carolina over the past five years.

An investigative reporter for the Carolina Journal, Sara Burrows, has obtained a document showing that the board’s investigation included athletic trainers, a nurse, a pharmacist, and even Duke University’s Integrative Medicine department. All have been accused of the same “crime”: practicing nutrition without a license.

According to Burrows, the board, which is supposed to represent licensed professionals working in the field of diet and nutrition, is “interested in anyone who gives advice about what people should eat….If the accused is found guilty of ‘assessing’ someone’s dietary needs and ‘counseling’ that person as to what she should eat [without a proper license], he is told to stop. If he refuses, he could be convicted of a misdemeanor, forced to pay fines and even sent to jail.”

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association (AND/ADA), has stated repeatedly that the organization is not against people sharing nutrition information—but as soon as nutrition information addresses a specific health need of an individual, that’s “assessing and counseling,” and you need a license from the nutrition/dietetics board in NC to do it. In North Carolina, if you say, “People should avoid sugar,” that’s OK. But if you say, “If you have diabetes, you should avoid sugar,” then you’re guilty of a Class I misdemeanor which is punishable by fines and prison time.

State nutrition boards that are controlled by AND/ADA often pursue complaints against nutrition and health professionals who are not Registered Dietitians. In some states, RDs who file complaints against other nutritionists actually receive prizes!

This is true even though RDs are often only college graduates lacking the Masters and PhD degrees of better qualified and more highly trained nutritionists, like those credentialed by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists.

According to this uncovered AND/ADA document, the organization wants to create the North Carolina type of board in all states. Under the guise of “public safety,” AND/ADA appears to be attempting to limit free speech and competition for the benefit of its corporate sponsors and paid membership.

Action Alert! If you are a North Carolina resident, write to your state legislators and ask them to repeal the legislation that created the NC Board of Dietetics and Nutrition—it’s the only way to stop the board’s harassment of other nutrition professionals.

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  • Wow, with this rediculous law we grandmothers and great-grandmothers could go to prison or be fined. We probably give more diet advice than any other segment of citizens and most of us live on fixed incomes that would mean we would have to go to prison as we couldn’t pay their fine!

  • Tony

    When I attempt to take action it says I must be a resident of CT. This is a NC issue?!? Help?

    • Hi Tony–Thank you for your comment! We have fixed the Action Alert (which was incorrectly set for CT residents), so you will now be able to sign.

    • Dr. Goebel

      We have to fight the dieticians every new session of the legislature in Texas. Dieticians are poorly schooled on nutrition compared to a nutritionist or even a chiropractor (2 semesters of nutrition in Texas chiropractic colleges).

      Good luck to all in various states to overcome an attempt at nutritional monopoly by dieticians who are backed by the medical boards.

      Follow the money. It’s all about eliminating the (more sufficiently educated) competition!

  • K. Reid Barbee

    I sure would like to take part in this Action Alert. For some reason it will not let me participate even though I’m from NC and my registration information is current.

    • Good morning–Thanks for your comment, and for pointing out this error! We have fixed the Action Alert, so North Carolina residents will now be able to sign.

  • jan burlet

    could not take action….was told I am not a resident of NC…….thanks for all you do to inform us.

  • GoodAmerican

    yep, we the people need to keep the pressure on our “representatives” with these action alerts and such…and then just keep ignoring these kinds of assanine laws like they vote for ,lol….maybe if we ignore the congress critters, theyll take their “ball” and leave US alone, lol…just kidding, if only it were that easy huh?
    Well, peace, truth, justice, freedom, good health and prosperity for US all and our children..in-spite of those who would have it otherwise.

  • Sharon DeMedeiros

    They can attempt to censor people from sharing knowledge about nutrition, but it will never change the fact that what they tell people is utter baloney, and everyone is learning this truth. I have heard what they teach people, its all lies, and I would never take their advice. Your hold is slipping, Dietary Board, and its not coming back, its a lost battle already. So do yourselves and us a favor and enroll in the best holistic nutrition school you can afford,and learn something worth teaching people.