Since 1984, The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has been sponsoring legislation that excludes all but ADA- approved nutritionists from professional practice. They have succeeded in passing various forms of their legislation in more than 40 states.
In some of these states, nutritionists can still practice but any non-ADA approved professionals are prohibited from using the words ‘nutritionist’ and ‘nutritional care’—even if the individual holds a Masters or a PhD in nutrition and is not claiming to be certified, licensed or registered. Keep in mind that most ADA-approved dieticians have undergraduate degrees, not advanced degrees. So in effect the ADA wants a monopoly that would exclude the most educationally qualified nutritionists.
Do you like the kind of food offered in today’s hospitals? Or, in schools? As you might expect, the ADA controls these programs. And who by the way contributes large amounts of money to the ADA? As you might also expect, it is large food companies, many of which sell billions of dollars worth of what we might charitably describe as less than nutritious processed food.
These companies want to have a close relationship with the ADA. The ADA wants to have a monopoly on professional nutrition in each state and of course big food companies have a lot of influence in state legislatures. It’s a very cozy arrangement for the ADA, the food companies, and the state legislators.
Those of us who appreciate the role of nutrition for natural health and preventive medicine have a duty to stand up and try to stop this kind of corporate sponsored and government-enforced monopoly.
The Wisconsin state government recently took up a bill that would have threatened non-ADA licensed practitioners. Although the measure’s sponsor said that the bill does not regulate the term “nutritionist,” opponents vehemently disagreed and in the end the controversial bill was stopped from coming to the floor for a vote.
Of course it might come back again in the future. We will be watching and let you know.