Today our first amendment rights are in danger. On the heels of SOPA and PIPA, HB1060 threatens free speech for health and fitness writers in the state of Colorado.
As the owner of a site specializing in sugar free, gluten free, diabetic recipes, Your Lighter Side.com is in danger of being shut down after four years of providing service to millions of readers. Why? Because I’m not practicing as a licensed dietician. If HB1060 passes, that means the quarter million readers I reach per month will no longer be able to have access to any of the hundreds of recipes I have poured four years of effort to provide at personal cost to myself. I’m not rich; I don’t have a cook book. I’m just a mom of four trying to help America eat better.
From Natural Grocers:
The American Dietetic Association wants total control over who can provide you with nutrition services and what nutrition information is available. Legislation in Colorado would prevent anyone but “dietitians” from providing nutrition services: not naturopaths, not fitness trainers, not weight loss centers, not complementary medical doctors, not chiropractors, not acupuncturists, not herbalists and not your Vitamin Cottage Nutritional Health Coach. Sound like “big brother” dictating your nutrition and health care choices? It is.
1. What the law will do. HB1060 defines what “dietitians” do and says that only licensed “dietitians” can do it. HB1060 sets up a board controlled by dietitians who get to say who does and does not get to be licensed in Colorado. HB allows the “dietitian” board to seek monetary and criminal sanctions against anyone it deems is practicing “dietetics” without a license. Read the full text of HB1060 here.
2. What is “dietetics?” HB1060 defines the practice of dietetics in the broadest possible way, essentially including all activity that involves the use of food and/or dietary supplements to affect wellness through nutrition.
3. Why do dietitians want a monopoly on these services? The leadership of the dietitians union has publicly stated on several occasions that passing licensing laws such as HB1060 is the best way to quash competition and ensure registered dietitians make more money and gain more prestige.
4. Why does the bill invoke the need to safeguard the public? The dietitians have not explained their contention that a safety issue exists. On the contrary, Colorado is the fittest and healthiest state in American now, precisely because so many of its citizens have become well informed about nutrition principles from a multitude of sources. Colorado is one of the few states that does not currently license dietitians.
5. What happens to other professions if this bill passes? HB1060 makes it illegal for anyone to practice “dietetics” without a license from the dietitian board unless under the paid supervision of a licensed dietitian. Your fitness club, weight loss center, complementary doctor, masseur, chiropractor, herbalist, and acupuncturist, among others, will no longer be able to provide nutrition advice without first paying a licensed dietitian to oversee their activities.
6. Will I get better nutrition advice if a dietitian is involved? We certainly don’t think so. A traditional dietitian’s curriculum trains them to use USDA recommended daily values of foods to create standardized menus for schools, hospitals, and other institutions that match government approved guidelines. In some instances, they apply American Medical Association guidelines to add or reduce certain ingredients to a diet to help with common health conditions, like reducing salt for hypertension and sugar for diabetics. While this approach can be helpful in some instances, dietitians are not trained to take into account the universe of particular needs that a unique individual may have, and they have little information beyond food content references for a few nutritional components, such as basic vitamins and minerals.
. Why don’t other professionals using nutrition in their practice just become dietitians? The dietitians union is supported by the big perpetrators of the industrial food system, including Coca-Cola, Hershey, the National Dairy Council, Mars, PepsiCo, and others. The dietitians union takes big agriculture government guidelines at face value, promoting large consumption of commodity grains and approving of dangerous trans fats and artificial ingredients in their clients’ diets. This is not a club most nutrition professionals want to be in.
Unfortunately, we have seen dietitians give increasingly irresponsible and political advice catering to big business interests and to their lobbies over the years. And we’re getting fatter and sicker as a nation because of it.
If this bill passes, the monopoly gets it way and the people lose. Instead of providing support to millions of families suffering from diabetes and celiac, autism and overweight, I am going to have to shut my doors because of those who seek to stifle my freedom of speech.
And all because they don’t like my message.
Can we allow that? I am counting on you to support free speech– the first amendment of Coloradans–and stop the monopoly grab of dietitians who want to shut healthy sites like mine down.
Here are the representatives in Colorado who need to hear your voices. Write to them. Spread this message We must be heard. If this bill passes, your state will be next! We must shut it down while it stands.
Representing: Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan counties
Representing: Delta, Dolores, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel counties
Representing: Logan Phillips, Sedgwick, Weld counties
Representing: Weld county
Representing: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache counties
Representing: Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Pitkin counties