You may remember a couple months ago how blogger Steve Cooksey in North Carolina was sent a cease and desist letter for promoting paleo diet views.
It turns out from leaked documents that the American Dietetic Association has been laying out an internal plan to pass legislation in more states to make unlicensed dietary advice illegal, and then have its members file complaints against anyone without a license giving dietary advice, allowing them to enforce their government-granted monopoly.
I am scared that I will be persecuted for my views on health and nutrition, especially for having helped so many of my friends with weight and health problem. I am angry that bad advice has been propagated, and resulted in heart disease and cancer for millions of people. I think everyone here knows what kind of advice we would receive from these registered dieticians going forward, and if they get their way then people will never know of any alternatives?
So my question is, what can we do about this as individuals and as a community? Complain to congress? Spread the word online until enough people get upset about it that something happens?
I'm about a month away from an MS in nutrition so you bet your sweet bippies I'll be charging for my advice eventually.
Groups like the ANA (American Nutrition Association), American College of Nutrition, and others are actively working against the ridiculous shenanigans the AND (formerly ADA, now American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics...the people who certify RDs/registered dieticians) is trying to pull.
It's all about $$ and don't think for a second it isn't. If they were so worried about the "safety" and "legitimacy" of anyone's advice, then they have to start showing me how fully credentialed CCNs (certified clinical nutritionists) and CNSs (certified nutrition specialists) have no idea what they're talking about. And these aren't licenses you can get out of a Cracker Jack box (do those even still exist?) or buy from a freaking diploma mill online. These are the real deal; they're just a completely separate track from the RDs. The AND is worried about folks like me encroaching on their sacred, protected territory. But why don't they ask themselves why so many people are turning to other kinds of practitioners? If they were so damn good at what they do, and their advice was helping so many get well, get fit, and get off meds, why would they feel so threatened? And like I said, these other licenses aren't bunk. They're legit. So the AND can not stand on firm ground claiming they're looking out for the public's best interest by silencing everyone who's not an RD.
And I really don't want to badmouth the RDs, because we have plenty of awesome ones right here at PH. But they're here despite everything they learned in school and what they're "supposed to" be telling people about how to eat, not because of it. They walk a slippery slope and some even risk loss of their license when they go against Big Brother's bible of low-fat and whole grains.
I don't want to hand out jello and monitor feeding tubes in hospitals, and I sure as heck don't want to be beholden to the food pyramid/plate/whatever the hell it is these days, so I intentionally chose the clinical nutrition track.
Sorry for the rant. Obviously this stuff strikes a nerve. My point is: people are fighting it. With the rates of obesity and diabetes we have today, looks like the AND has made quite a track record for itself. If I were Desi, I'd say "Luuuucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"
that is ridiculous. They can't monitor what people do in their own homes, or what ideas are bantered about on the internet, or even in print. Fortunately for us, right to free speech is protected in the Constitution. That said, they can pass laws limiting people from CHARGING for advice like a counselor etc. Kind of like saying you are a doctor and you're not. It's not wrong that you can't just hang out your shingle claiming to be a dietician if you aren't licensed in the State you live to do so. Otherwise we'd have all sorts of people claiming to be doctors, dentists, or whatever. The point is you CAN'T CHARGE. You can, however, accept donations to your non-profit foundation that YOU set up. And an offshore account (just kidding) If you want to create a website or write a book etc. etc. giving dietary advice, all you have to do is qualify it with something stating that "the FDA has not evaluated these claims. This book (website, what-have-you) is not claiming to cure or prevent any illness, nor is the advice given here a replacement for the advice of a qualified and licensed physician". Or something like that. Believe me, you can make a website or self-publish a book saying anything you want. Anything. People do it ALL the time.
I don't know how they're going to be able to do that. With all of the diet books, cooking shows, magazines and blogs/sites, that's a tall order to enforce that kind of law. If anything, you could just go onto sites with a non-US address to skirt around it.
My new dentist, who is the past president of our local dental association, freely admitted that amalgam was deadly and a bunch of other no-nos. I gave him a 1/2 hour explanation of paleo, which he was unfamiliar with, and he said that it sounded perfectly logical. But the ADA is an evil bunch of low-life, so they are capable of anything.
Unfortunately, massive rent seeking is unavoidable in today's political atmosphere. This ultimately results in a deadweight loss on society, so the best way to beat it would be to vote with your dollar towards making the paleo movement and things favorable to it more profitable.
First off, I do not think the ADA has a significant enough lobby to get something like that passed in too many states. Secondly, a law proposed like that would likely die on the floor before it even got any real chance of succeeding. Even if (and this would be very difficult) it were to make it into law, most courts would shoot it down because it would be unconsitutional since they would violate our right to free speech. The only way they can regulate something like that is if you were offering nutritional advice for a fee and telling people it will be a cure of some ailment (make it medical).
Free advice is exactly that...free...and you get what you pay for most times. Always consider the source and if my nutritionist tells me something and I die from that advice then I should be able to sue them for malpractice. If one of you tells me to eat 17 hot dogs for breakfast every morning and I suffer conjestive heart failure as a result, then that is really my fault for being dumb enough to follow it.
I would not worry too much about the ADA. They cannot stop free speech.
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