American Dietetic Association attempting to monopolize nutritional advice
Monday, June 06, 2011 by: J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) An organization that promotes the practice of natural healthcare
and supports the right of consumers to choose their own treatment options has
said it believes the American Dietetic Association is attempting to monopolize
the nutrition industry by denying access to qualified professionals.
Darrell Rogers, a spokesman for the Alliance for
Natural Health USA, a group which, according to its website, advocates
"natural, sustainable healthcare through good science and good law," says his
organization has encountered multiple attempts by
the ADA in recent months
to restrict or prohibit nutritionists from presenting alternative dietetic
advice, an effort the group says will "effectively create a monopoly on
nutrition services for
Rogers, in an interview with NaturalNews.com, said "consumers nutritional
options are in peril of being hijacked by the ADA's efforts, which he says will
ultimately restrict dietetic choice in favor of a marriage between big
government and the junk
"The most troubling part of the
ADA campaign to limit access to nutritional
health is that the ADA's
true intention is to monopolize the nutrition profession," Rogers said. "We need
the nutritionists and the public to stand up and take action before their
profession and our health access is outlawed." He points to recent legislative
attempts by the ADA in Nevada, which, if passed, would "literally forbid the
very use of title licensed
That bill, currently before Nevada Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee
Assembly Bill 289, creates a State Board of Dietetics and would prohibit "a
person from engaging in the practice of dietetics without a license or
certificate of registration from the Board," according to a summary of the
measure defines the "practice of dietetics as the performance of acts of
assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, counseling, intervention, monitoring or
treatment of a person
relating to nutrition, food,
biology, and behavior to achieve and maintain proper nourishment and care of the
health of the person."
ANH-USA says that means only licensed dietitians would be able to legally offer
nutritional services, including performing nutritional assessments and nutrition
monitoring, counseling and evaluation - skills which currently fall under the
purview and practice of a nutritionist.
Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director of ANH-USA, says what's worse, the
Nevada legislation is being pushed by some paragons of the junk-food
"We have seen the Coca-Cola and Hershey's-sponsored
Dietetic Association write and introduce these bills below the radar around
the country in an attempt to monopolize nutrition services," she said in a
"The junk food
company-sponsored ADA's legislation makes no secret about the intent of their
legislation," she continued. "The bill explicitly states that an individual
cannot use the words 'licensed nutritionist' or 'L.N.' unless they complete the
program for dietitians. This ignores the vast philosophical difference between
nutritionists and dietitians, which are two entirely different fields of study
AHN-USA says the bill would:
--Effectively eliminate an entire profession and remove all competition in the
field of nutrition services;
--Restrict freedom of choice in
healthcare by ignoring
the differences in treatment philosophies between nutritionists and dietitians;
--Increase chronic health problems by denying healthcare
nutritionist's "integrative approach to medicine," which focuses on prevention
and treatment of chronic disease;
--Penalizes a higher standard of education and training, since the "standards
and requirements for the practice of nutritionists are most often much higher
than the standards for dietitians" described in bills like the one in Nevada.
"Such legislation impedes an individual's right to access highly qualified
nutritional therapists of their choice and prohibits hundreds of qualified
practitioners from providing nutritional therapy,"
says Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, a Colorado organic food dealer,
according to an editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
ANH-USA says the 70,000-member ADA is currently offering similar legislation
in four states, but the organization has sponsored bills in 40 states
"This is the organization that lists corporate sponsors soft drink giants
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, cereal manufacturers General Mills and Kellogg's, candy
maker Mars, and Unilever, the multinational corporation that owns many of the
world's consumer products brands in foods and beverages," says the ANH-USA.
For its part, the Chicago-based ADA, which
calls itself the "world's largest organization of food and nutrition
professionals," says on its
website that it "is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing
the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy." The group
did not respond to a request for comment.
As far as the government
is concerned, however, there is little difference between a dietitian and a
nutritionist. In fact, they are one in the same, according to the U.S.
Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics,
a division of the labor department, uses the terms "dietitian" and
"nutritionist" interchangeably. In describing the duties of both, BLS says they
each "plan food and nutrition programs, supervise meal preparation, and oversee
the serving of meals," and that "they prevent and treat illnesses by promoting
healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications."
Both professions require "at least a bachelor's degree," and that "licensure,
certification or registration requirements vary by state," BLS says.