Dietitian HQ Now Resorting to Sneak Attacks

February 28, 2012

grass_roots_activismYour activism is once again bearing fruit—but the dietetic monopoly is fighting back with its most underhanded move yet.

We are seeing a number of state victories in the battle against monopolization of nutrition services by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (see below). You may know it better as the American Dietetic Association, or ADA—the organization changed its name last month to explicitly claim authority over the word “nutrition”!
Certified nutritionists and concerned citizens are voicing their objections to the organization’s blatant collusion with the junk food and big pharmaceutical industries (visit the Really Eat Right campaign website for details on why this is such a vital health issue), and because you are fighting back, the legislation they sponsored is being defeated in state after state. As a result, dietitian leaders are feeling the pressure—so they are striking back with sneaky and frankly disingenuous maneuvers. In one state, dietitians were able to get an amendment inserted into a completely unrelated bill with almost no notice to the public!
Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Dietetic Association attached an amendment to AB 547, which was being considered by the Wisconsin Assembly’s Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs for a vote. Why wasn’t it introduced before a health committee? Because that’s where advocates would be expecting it, and this was a way to have it slip by unnoticed. There was no public notice of the amendment until one day before the hearing—hardly a democratic process!—and so there was almost no opportunity for the public to give their input to their legislators. The bill itself, of course, had nothing whatsoever to do with nutrition.
The bill’s language changes what is currently certification to licensure, since many private insurers will not reimburse for nutrition services unless providers are licensed. However, even the current “certification” law is deeply biased because only Registered Dietitians (that is, those who have passed the exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) can become certified.
This will give RDs an economic advantage and severely affect the business of other nutrition professionals. It will also give nutritionists second-class status in the eyes of the public—because even though nutritionists are are equally qualified (or more highly qualified) than dietitians, by Wisconsin law they cannot be licensed as nutritionists unless they are dietitians!
The bill passed the committee with the amendment intact—and with only two legislators opposed. Next the bill goes before the full Assembly, where it will be far more difficult to stop. There will, however, be one more hearing—probably on March 6—so there is time to oppose the bill. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please take action now!
Illinois
Wisconsin’s neighbor to the south, Illinois, already has a horrible monopolistic scope-of-practice bill carved out for dietitians. With SB 2936, however, AND (formerly ADA) is attempting to amend the existing law that regulates dietitians to make it more comprehensive; it also increases fines to $10,000 per violation for practicing dietetic or nutrition services without a license.

SB 2936 also makes the state board even more biased, changing the composition from seven members (with a physician and a nurse required to be members) to five members (and no medical professional as a member)—with four of the seats being filled by licensed dietitians!
We are working with our allies in Illinois to fight the bill. If you are a resident of Illinois, please take action on now!
Some Recent Victories
Because of your excellent grassroots activism and our working with a coalition of nutritionists and educating state legislators, some of our recent campaigns have found success. Thank you for making your voice heard!

  • In California, AB 575 was defeated! We are now setting up meetings with legislators to continue to educate them.
  • In Indiana, HB 1187 was defeated! The bill died in committee.
  • In Colorado, HB 1060 was defeated—seven legislators voted against it when it was heard in the committee! Even though the Colorado regulatory agency has stated that Colorado did not need licensure for RDs and that this was unnecessary legislation, the Dietitians HQ (the AND, formerly the ADA) sponsors a new bill in the state every year in an attempt to strengthen its monopoly.
  • In Virginia, HB345 was a controversial bill that would have allowed only licensed dietitians to practice a wide range of nutrition services including nutrition diagnosis and intervention. Because citizens opposed it so strongly, the decision to hear the bill was passed over till 2013! We will keep close watch on the bill if and when it is picked up again next year.
  • In West Virginia, HB4045 was a bill whereby only licensed dietitians could practice dietetics or medical nutrition therapy. Four of the five board members would have been registered or licensed dietitians, and since the exam to qualify for licensure will be board-determined, it would almost certainly be the dietitians’ exam. Practicing without a license would have brought a fine of between $100 and $1000, or a jail sentence of up to six months. Thousands of ANH-USA members in West Virginia took action and met with their state representatives, and ANH-USA lobbied the state legislature. They heard our case and refused to take up the bill in the House Judiciary committee. We built great relationships in West Virginia and will continue to work there whenever nutrition access is threatened. The bill will officially die tomorrow, February 29.

Work Still Needed in Other States

  • In Hawaii, HB 2570 has been heard twice (and amended twice after exhaustive hearings). The current version of the bill is slightly better but the language is vague enough that it will not provide enough protection for nutritionists. Penalties remain at $1000 per violation, and each day’s violation is deemed a separate offense. If you are a resident of Hawaii, please take action now!

  • The status of A5666 in New York and S833 in New Jersey have not changed since our report a couple of weeks ago. Many of our readers have emailed to volunteer their help, so we are continuing to work on educating and meeting with legislators. If you are a resident of New York, please take action here! If you are a resident of New Jersey, please take action here!

44 responses to “Dietitian HQ Now Resorting to Sneak Attacks”

  1. Suzanne Garrett says:

    Here’s my recent tweet, Suzanne Garrett ‏ @Suzanne_Garrett
    @EatRight @EatRIghtMembers: Attaching your nutrition monopoly amendment to AB 547 in WI – Homeland Security Comm, really? Sneaky and Scummy!

  2. Margaret Momparler says:

    PLEASE PLEASE Don’t waste my time asking me to sign a petition WITHOUT TELLING ME
    THAT I AM UNELIGIBLE BECAUSE I DON’T LIVE IN THAT PETITION STATE!!!
    WAKE UP PEOPLE; WE ARE BUSY AND DON’T HAVE TIME TO FILL IN ALL THE DATA
    JUST TO BE TOLD WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SEND IT!!!

  3. Robert Cruder says:

    In Colorado, Senator Brophy emailed me that he is personally anti-regulation but that implementation cost was an issue as well. Since our state Senate is controlled by Democrats who are not so negative regarding regulation, one may conclude that they were dissuaded by implementation cost even if continuing cost could have been defrayed by license fees.
    He politely accepted my argument that the only way to license fairly would be to have a neutral exam much as the state already has for MDs and Osteopaths. I cannot know whether he would have been willing to argue that position before the committee because committee consideration did not get that far.

  4. Shannon Montoya says:

    How do we educate doctors when doctors are trained the same crap RD’s are trained. How do we break the walls of supporting health, instead of drug companies. The consumers want the changem how can we be the change?
    I LOVE what you are doing! I LOVE what NANP does OUR time is NOW!!!

  5. Joanne says:

    Please fix the ‘Take Action’ choice for NJ. It lists the NY info rather than the NJ info. Please notify when that has been done so that I can take action!

  6. Kdieal says:

    The links to the NY/NJ action alerts are listed backwards.

  7. Cyndy Kahalewale says:

    Please be responsible and get your facts straight. HB 2570 in Hawaii is not exclusionary. There are Nutritionists and other allied health professionals who are supporting this measure… because they are informed and educated. It IS possible to work together for the benefit of all… that’s what we do in Hawaii.

  8. Siena Ross says:

    The ADA isn’t interested in good health because of their support of processed food.
    Get real.
    Don’t let them defeat the good work of nutritional therapists and others who really know how to get people well.

  9. paul beuth says:

    What do you want us to be a nation of sheep. T Jefferson a great American would not agree with the brain washing of the common mAN

  10. Brenda Owens says:

    When the agency is trying to sneek in their speciality provisions that favor themselves under state laws, we have to look more closely at their motives and measures as they must have much to hide.

  11. rd student says:

    Hi im a nutrition student at a university, i got a 3.24 science gpa so I did not qualify for the RD internship, which requires a 3.25.
    Unbelievable.
    I am just as qualified as the rest of my class will be at graduation, yet they will go on to become dieticians, and I will be stuck as a manager at the local fast food joint….all because i am not an “RD”. yet I will have a nutrition degree, and it amounts to nothing. I am an ADA member but the organization has done nothing to address the fate of students who do not get internships I still have good grades and lots of experience in the field, clinical/community/and education. I’m willing to bet I am more knowledgeable in complimentary and alternative nutrition therapies than anyone else in my class.
    But it all seems to be amounting to nothing, because the ADA is too busy holding hands with Coca-Cola to care.

  12. buck says:

    My health and diet are none of BIG Brothers or Nanny’s business . Just another group of meddling progressives trying to control me and everybody else . The reason our prisons are so overcrowded is not because we have so many criminals , it is because there are so many people being punished for non-crimes set up to control us it is IMPOSSIBLE to go through a day and not break a rule , policy , or law , and usually most off them are unconstitutional laws .

  13. Right on food folks! If these people have their way we will have monitors in the schools, supplying McNuggets to children whose lunches from home have been deemed NOT nutritional! I hear this has really happened already.
    Sincerely, David Miller

  14. christine says:

    We have been trying to become licensed for years so that we can have a better scope of practice enabling us to have more power to write orders, get paid for couseling outpts and do what we were trained for. All the chiropractors out there run around teaching holistic nutrition crap and have lobbied for years to prevent us from getting licensed because then they will not be able to practice nutrition anymore, which they should NOT be doing in the first place. As for ‘nutritionists’ being 2nd class, they are! i went to school for 4 years, did a 10 month internship and sat for a four hour exam. did they? no they read a magazine on it and call themselves “nutritionists”. whoever wrote this, you are probably one of them taking the easy road and trying to practice what you are too lazy to go to real school for and learn. This is a disgrace and misleading!

    • Michael says:

      Christine, I agree with you about why RD’s needed to become licensed and how Chiro’s should not be teaching nutrition if not qualified.As far as saying Nutritionist are 2nd class, do you really think that is a fair and just statement? Who are you to raise yourself up and knock others? I have been in “real college” and have done certification courses as well. In fact, I have been in school for 8 years now, some night school and some full time, and I learned more in the certification classes than I did in what you call “real school”. My older brother is a RD and he even admits I know 3 times more than he learned and he sees the results I get compared to RD’s. Are there some nutritional certs out there that leave the person with sub par knowledge, yes. But do not lump everyone in the same category. I was just at a seminar run by 2 RD’s and when the question and answer period started, I ran circles around them. After the seminar, 80% of the attendees approached me after the meeting to hire me.
      All we ask is that if Nutritionists are to be licensed, which I completely embrace, we have our own branch because what we “should be teaching” is not what the Government and the ADA teaches. You can continue to teach what you have learned and people will have a choice on which to choose. Unless you are too insecure to let that happen, you would not oppose this.

  15. What is the status of the bill in Michigan – Bill PA333 ? The last I heard it was being reviewed by the committee assigned to review the necessity of all regulatory boards in MI. There has been no words since October or November of last year.

  16. coalmine canary says:

    I have posted before that I have been horrified by what I have read by these “science” “authorities” in “Nutrition”….in magazines, etc….
    Examples:
    GMO’s are not proven to cause harm to humans
    Combined starches into one “healthy” recipe
    Hospital menus say it all
    Lots more…..
    These people who claim to be the *sole* “authority” in “Science based nutrition” are really anything but.
    It’s arrogant to look down on others who *really do* study the *current and updated * science and assume that one’s profession is the only one to do so.
    Further, it is unconstitutional, and not just illegal, to squeeze out other professions and freedom of choice in:
    The practice of one’s profession
    The ability to consult any professional of one’s choice
    We must argue this legal point and bring it forward. Only the former Iron Curtain, Red China, etc have government-controlled and censored professions. In the Land of the Free, we *should* be able to consult or practice any profession of our choosing, so long as it is not doing harm.

    • coalmine canary says:

      PS Above, those quoted as saying GMOs have not been proven to do harm, who claim to be the sole authorities in science-based nutrition, etc are RD’s. Hope that was understood anyway.

  17. Douglas says:

    It is interesting that Alliance for Natural Health is against measures that would vastly improve the quality of nutritionists and help prevent the improvement of information by increasing standards for practitioners.
    This, along with Alliance for Natural Health’s support of a murderous quack like Stanislaw Burzynski is a strong indication that anything it publishes is questionable and might be a danger to ones health, even life as in Burzynski’s case.
    In short, do some in depth objective research before thinking there is an injustice.

    • ANH-USA says:

      The ADA sponsored measures in many states would not “vastly improve the quality of nutritionists” the bills (if you care to read them) expand the scope of practice of dietitians, so that only licensed dietitians are allowed by law to practice “nutrition” “medical nutrition therapy” etc. Keep in mind that many of these bills purposely ignore the credentials of certified nutritionists from CBNS and CCN, many of those nutritionists have PhDs and Masters in nutrition and have passed test significantly more difficult than the RD exam. We ask that registered dietitians stand with us and improve access to nutrition and not attempt to stifle this growing filed. Instead of worrying about your slice of the pie, how about we bake more pies?

    • Michael says:

      Well, Doug, it sound like you need to listen to your own advise and do your own research.

    • Tom says:

      What a stupid assertion. You must be a RD. And, Dr. Burzynski’s methods are in clinical trial. You should watch the movie, Cut, Poison, Burn and see what the cancer industry is doing TO us, not for us. Maybe you should go after the real quacks like Stephen Barrett, MD.

  18. Roseann D says:

    Dietitians are the ones that plan the crappy unhealthy hospital meals, and pimp for coca cola! Yeah right, like they’d ever gave credibility in my eyes.

  19. Kurt W. says:

    The Diabetes Association for years has been recommending a diet no where ideal for diabetics.

  20. Grace Adams says:

    Any emails to send to Congress and the Pres. on the national level?

  21. wm cahill says:

    You rarely ever here about these issues as the companies control the media, they provide a lot of their income. these companies will start you on a road to addiction with offers of deals so you will start taking their product.

  22. Bucktooth says:

    Why are they pushing dieticians to do what nutritionists, Naturopathic physicians, DO’s, and some MD’s are doing extremely well? That is what we do!!
    The dieticians I have encountered are usually overweight, and do not exercise, or have the training that we have in nutrition…not diets! This angers are medical communities, and they should be banned from even attempting to work in this field if they are not licensed nutritionists, naturopaths, so’s or MD’s!

  23. William L. Wilson, M.D. says:

    As a physician who has spent much of my career looking into the science of healthy eating I completely agree that most of the nutritional advice offered to our patients by the ADA is not based on solid science or even common sense. I spend much of my time contradicting the advice patients are given by the hospital based dieticians.
    For example, we now know that excessive fructose from sugar and HFCS has now is the primary driver of insulin resistance, the first step in the path towards diabetes. When a person with insulin resistance consumes high glycemic carbohydrates, their brain is subjected to post-meal magnified glucose spikes. We now believe that over time these magnified glucose spikes trigger a chronic brain disorder characterized by low levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. As the disease progresses individuals are often diagnosed with depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, ADHD, bipolar II, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, learning disorders, autism and other brain conditions. Because it takes a healthy brain to auto-regulate fat stores, people with this condition will start to store extra fat at any caloric intake.
    We call this disease Carbohydrate Associated Reversible Brain syndrome or CARB syndrome, likely the most common disease in our society. When I went to school in every class there were perhaps one or two kids with weight problems and a few who had trouble learning. Now the majority of kids have weight problems and many have been labeled with some of the conditions listed above. I agree with Dr. Robert Lustig that it’s time to regulate sugar, a chronic toxin similar to cigarette smoking. What’s even worse, when you combine too much sugar with high glycemic carbohydrates, you also end up eventually frying your brain.

  24. Janice Newman says:

    Stop all this nonsense and let AB547 go through now!

    • Bruce says:

      Why? Give us your best arguments.

    • Michael says:

      The Bill is nonsense and if you actually have read it, you would see that. As Bruce asks, what is your argument? We want Nutritionists to be licensed, just not under the strong arm of the ADA. We have conflicting view points. The way the Bill is written, it is quite apparent the ADA is trying to have total control over who gets licensed, and what they can teach. In my opinion, this is an attempt to gain back the ground the ADA is losing in market share. They are not getting the same good results that a sufficiently trained Nutritionist is getting and people are wise to this. Let both organizations be licensed and regulated by their respective boards and let the people decide on which to hire. If you’re not good with freedom of choice, then you are just afraid that you can’t compete. Results talk and the ADA and the Government is getting us sicker and fatter than any time in history.

  25. I say let this AB547 go through now!

    • Les Peterson, D.C. says:

      AB547 should definitely not go through, Ms Newman.
      The machinations of the ADA are not unlike the efforts of the AMA to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession from the 1920s-1980s, until 1987 when they, the AMA, were found guilty of the Sherman Act. The AMA lost on appeal, but thousands of chiropractors lost the opportunity to help patients, and the profession remains hobbled by the echoes of that campaign.
      This is what nutritionists face. The ADA should be investigated for colusion with the drug companies and junk food makers. Hospitals, the main stomping ground of the ADA, have the least healthy food in our communities outside of a fast food restaurant.

  26. Michael Gurin says:

    Keep up the good work. If we left our wellness up to classic and traditional western medicine, we would be living in a world virtually void of vitamins, fish oil, and so many other proven and validated measures for health & wellness.

  27. Diane DeMore, CN, BS says:

    What’s next! I studied very hard for my certifications (I am in Texas), and every couple of years this tries to happen here also. We always address it and get it turned down. However, there are very sneaky people out there. I am also a homeopathic vet, and even homeopathics are now under attack. We definitely have to keep fighting!!

  28. Henry Kissinger, a top level adviser to President Obama, has said, “If you can control the food, you can control the people.” What makes it his business to control others? He’s a vice president of The Pilgrims Society in New York, the organization sponsored by the British Crown for the purpose of retaking North America. Nutritional control is part of the drive by the rich to return civilization to Crown feudalism. Henry has been on the Rockefeller family payroll for many years, and The Pilgrims are the only organization David Rockefeller is a member of, which he does not mention in his memoirs.

  29. RD says:

    “The dieticians I have encountered are usually overweight, and do not exercise”
    Well, that is an unfair stereotype if I’ve ever heard one. I’ve been a dietitian for 12 years, and am 5’2″ weighing 120 lb. I exercise everyday, and have a part-time job as an aerobics instructor.
    Please try not to make unfair sweeping generalizations about people that you don’t know.
    And for the student above who was upset about not getting into an internship with a 3.25 GPA…internship are competitive. If you have thousands of applicants applying along with you, with 4.0 GPAs, yeah, you’re not going to get matched. It’s equally hard to get into other academic programs. Try getting into med school.

  30. Tom says:

    I’ve been a nurse for more than 30 years and I can honestly tell you that I have never met a RD who was worth a sh*t. Their mother ship is nothing but a mouthpiece for the food industry and the organization completely lacks any integrity. The only thing they’re good for is when a patient has a disease that requires the intervention of a therapeutic diet. They know absolutely nothing about nutrition. I’ll tell you a story here that I encountered. I had a patient once who had an anoxic brain injury and was completely dependent on his mother for care. He was a diabetic in his 20’s. He had a feeding tube through which the only thing he ever got was a product called Glucerna, a complete nutritional supplement formulated specifically for diabetics. Meal after meal, day after day, it’s all he ever got. He started to get horrendous yeast infections including on his skin resulting from fecal incontinence. Since the tube was changed every month and replaced with a Foley Catheter, it didn’t really matter if it became occluded because you could just change it out. So I got this idea for his mother to blenderize real food until it was in a total liquid state, and give it to him through the tube. The RD response was NO NO NO. I said, what about variety in the diet? Where does that come in? Her response: Well, the only reason they tell us to vary our diet is so we’re not eating the same pesticides all the time. I was appalled and said to her, you have got to be kidding me. I told her that was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard and you know what? I got in trouble for it. Yup, I was the one that got in trouble. Why did I get in trouble. Because I essentially told that RD she was an idiot. I’ll never have any respect for them. This is about turf and protecting it. Loathsome!

    • Kathy says:

      That is interesting- I have been a RD for 35 years and have never met a nurse who knew
      anything about nutrition. How many nutrition courses did you take when you were
      going to school to become a nurse? I heard so many strange and incorrect information
      coming out of nurses mouths who think they are the nutrition experts. Did you learn all
      of your nutrition information in a Health Food store ?

  31. Tammie Brown says:

    I am outraged to read the derogatory statements about RD’s. This thread is about slamming the profession when it seems most of the people commenting are not aware of what an RD actually does. Yes, some RD’s work in school food service. However, food service RD’s typically do not create the budget and are not given free reign to change menu’s, etc. I am a mother myself and have been appalled at what my children were served at school, at the recommendations of the USDA. Any intuitional food service is not going to provide the most nutritious foods due to cost. Take this beef up with the USDA. Most institutional food service RD’s are doing the best they can with the least amount of money given to the food service budget. Really? What exactly do you think you should get for a $2.00 lunch or a free lunch? I agree that this is an area which needs the most improvement, but who is going to pay for it? This is also true with hospital food service. The department is given a budget and one cannot serve the best foods with so little money. Again, an RD in hospital food service can only do so much. Take these grips you have to the hospital administrators making $750K a year. Let me set the record straight, I do not simply walk into a patient’s room and tell them to eat their peas and carrots. I write orders/recommends for total parenteral nutrition and tube feeding for patients who are on mechanical ventilation, and other patients who are unable to eat, requiring nutrition support. Is nutrition support the best as compared to real food? No, but until the patients are able to consume foods they need nutrition. Are all the tube feeding formulas perfect? No, but again, patients need the nutrition the formulas do provide when unable to eat food. As far as RD’s being able to recommend homemade tube feeding formulas, it is all about liability. Commercial formulas are sterile. I would hesitate recommending a patient make homemade formula as I would not have any way to ensure the patient/family would make the formula in a sterile environment, not because I think homemade formula is “bad”. Last but not least, there are many RD’s with Master’s and PhD’s, I am one of them. I understand the frustration spewed out on this forum, however, please not all RD’s are “bad”, just as not all MD’s, DO’s, etc are bad. I know bad MD’s, bad DO’s, bad RN’s, bad dentist, bad chiropractors, etc. but I do not lump them all together as bad.

  32. Lana says:

    RDs are pressed to be employed by the hospitals dispensing Tube Feedings precisely because of the lack of Licensure and Insurance coverage. Otherwise, we would be able to open our own practices to help people. We go through years of education, yet we are not covered under insurances as providers. It’s a shame!
    We are very capable to help not only with Medical Diets, but with wellness and prevention of diseases as well, which would save the population from taking pharmaceuticals. I have personally helped thousands of patients lose weight, reverse insulin resistance, lower blood pressure, etc., all while being hired by an MD and being payed pennies on the dollar (instead of being covered directly by insurances). RDs are fully trained nutritional professionals that deserve to be Licensed and covered by Medical Insurances, if we are to help solve the current health crisis.
    I am an RD with a holistic approach. Do not assume my knowledge base is limited. Your lack of support of my Licensure is what keeps me bound in employment environments where I am not free to teach you everything I know that would truly help you.

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