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Urgent—Licensure of Dietitians and Nutritionists in Michigan—Vote is Tomorrow, May 13!

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Thanks to AAHF legislative director Tami Wahl, the Michigan state legislature is hearing the concerns of AAHF on the creation of rules to implement the bill on licensure of dietitians and nutritionists in Michigan. Read Tami’s analysis:

The Michigan Board of Dietetics and Nutrition is in the process of creating the rules to implement the bill on licensure of dietitians and nutritionists in the state of Michigan and is set for a vote on May 13, 2009. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing arm of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), has already been accepted as a certifying agency. We are now requesting that the Board include other reputable credentialing agencies to ensure that highly qualified professionals will be able to practice nutritional therapy in Michigan and that the citizens of Michigan will have the right to choose from whom they receive nutritional therapy.
There is a vast philosophical difference between nutritionists and dietitians—they are entirely different fields of study and practice. We are trying to make sure that consumers have access to both types of providers of nutritional information.
Over the past several years, the ADA has been trying (with great success) to get individual states to require that candidates be certified through ADA’s credentialing arm alone as a means of satisfying the state’s licensing requirements—even though several other highly regarded credentialing agencies exist. In fact, other agencies almost uniformly have higher credentialing standards than ADA in terms of education, supervised experience, and their examinations, and nutritionists’ training is typically much more extensive than dietitians’.
By insisting that all state licensees be registered with the CDR, and only CDR, the consumer’s right to choose from whom they receive information and advice is limited, and current certification holders from other reputable credentialing agencies are prohibited from practicing, thereby taking away competent and highly educated nutrition practitioners’ right to practice.

Please contact the Board immediately in support of our efforts to include, at a minimum, the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists and the American Clinical Board of Nutrition as additional certifying agencies in Michigan.
Overnight mail can be sent to:
Michigan Board of Dietetics and Nutrition
Ottawa Building
611 West Ottawa Street
Lansing, MI  48909

You can also contact Desmond Mitchell, whose department is working with the Board to develop the guidelines, and will make sure correspondence related to the Board is properly delivered. Note that he can receive email:
Desmond Mitchell
Michigan Department of Community Health
611 W. Ottawa
Lansing, MI  48909
[email protected]

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