(Liz Klimas) In April, TheBlaze reported about a blogger who was being told the tips he was giving about the paleo diet violated state law. It was a topic he was writing on due to his own success at using it to manage diabetes naturally.
The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN) is now being sued with a case citing the protection of free speech. Others are also calling out the national body governing the state board, which issued the DiabetesWarrior.net blogger 19 pages of notes marking violations in January, as creating a monopoly that would give only licensed dietitians the right to provide nutrition advice.
The Institute of Justice filed a lawsuit for Steve Cooksey against the state board in May after Cooksey was told he could not give the type of advice he issuing on his blog Diabetes Warrior without a license. Watch the Institute of Justice‘s animate clip on Cooksey’s case:
NCBDN states, according to its definition of nutritional care, Cooksey was at the time violating the lawwith the advice he was providing without a license. The board never made a decision to take legal action to require Cooksey to have a license.
In response to Cooksey saying he felt he was being censored by the NCBDN, the organization issued a statement saying:
Of his own volition, upon being informed of the complaint against him, Mr. Cooksey made changes to his site, including, making his disclaimer that he is not a licensed dietitian/nutritionist more prominent and taking down his diabetes support packages. Later, Mr. Cooksey was sent a document detailing some of the Board’s concerns regarding his past interactions with some of his followers, however, this document was sent attached to an email that stated, “[g]iven our discussion, I believe our comments should make sense, however, should you disagree, I am happy to discuss.” Mr. Cooksey never contacted the NCBDN to discuss these comments. The NCBDN never ordered Mr. Cooksey to make any changes to his website.
With regard to whether Cooksey needs a license in the first place, the statement reads a license is needed within the state if nutritional care is being given, which includes the following activities:
• Assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups, and determining resources and constraints in the practice setting.
• Establishing priorities, goals, and objectives that meet nutritional needs and are consistent with available resources and constraints.
• Providing nutrition counseling in health and disease.
• Developing, implementing, and managing nutrition care systems.