The CA Assembly bill AB 575 will affect your right to access highly qualified nutritional therapists of your choice (if you are a consumer in California) and will also prohibit you from providing valuable nutritional therapy (if you are a nutrition professional in California). It will be heard before Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protections on Tuesday April 26th, 2011 in Sacramento, CA. This bill is being introduced by the CDA (California Dietetics Association) and Under this bill nutritionists must become licensed dietitians in order to practice! This would create a monopoly for RD’s as clinical nutrition providers.
This is a very hot topic that has been playing out in many states and I encourage you to take action RIGHT AWAY so you don’t lose your freedom of choice and/or your right to work!
Here are some resources for you to learn more:
Here is proposed bill itself
It’s pretty heavy reading so here is a nice summary of what the bill actually means – from the Alliance for Natural Health
Interview with ANH and Ed Bauman
Martin Mathews of www.nourishinghope.org interviewed Nandini (Alliance for Natural Health www.anh-usa.org) and Dr Ed Bauman (Bauman College www.baumancollege.org) on Reality Sandwich on Thursday and you can listen to this 15 minute interview here.
Interview with Coco Newton and Liz Lipski
And a few weeks ago I interviewed Coco Newton, RD, CCN and Liz Lipski PhD, CCN on a preview call promoting our annual NANP (www.nanp.org) conference April 31, May 1. You can listen to this 30 minute interview here. Coco’s topic will address similar issues the nutrition professionals have experienced in Michigan. Coco is very active in the Michigan Nutrition Association and they have very useful information on their site (http://www.michigannutritionassociation.org/)
Latest newsletter from Alliance for Natural Health (www.anh-usa.org):
“California Assembly Bill 575 creates a monopoly on nutrition services for dietitians, in effect denying consumers access to expert advice from nutritionists, some of the most highly educated and well-respected professionals in the field of nutrition. Presented as a regular licensing bill for dietitians this bill actually limits the practice of other nutrition professionals. Under this bill nutritionists must go through the dietetic program and licensure in order to practice medical nutrition therapy.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has sponsored legislation in over 40 states. This is the organization that lists among its 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.
The negative implications of AB 575 are far reaching.
- Bad for an already struggling California economy. This bill would effectively eliminate an entire profession and removes all competition in the field of nutrition services.
- Dampens freedom of choice in healthcare: Nutritionists and dietitians have entirely different philosophical approaches. Each individual has unique nutritional needs and therefore deserve access to choice. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Threatens to increase chronic health indicators among Californians: Nutritionists practice an integrative approach to medicine and concentrate on prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Access to nutritionists should be broadened, not reduced.
- Penalizes a higher standard of education and training: For example, Certified Nutrition Specialists certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS) have a Master’s degree at a minimum, usually a Ph.D., yet are excluded by this bill unless they meet the requirements of dietitians.”
IF YOU ARE A CALIFORNIA RESIDENT – WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
If you are a California resident there are a number of things you can do – I’ve outlined these steps below. Please take action before Tuesday next week if you feel this is something you feel strongly about!
(1) Alliance for Natural Health has a page that will generate a letter for you to automatically send to
* Your Governor
* Your State Senator or Senators
* Your State Representative or Representatives
* All the committee members
Just enter your name, address and modify the sample text letter as you see fit .
****** SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE LEGISLATORS BELOW ********
Go here to create and send this letter.
(2) Call and email the Committee members and tell them what you think. Calling is often more effective than emailing!
It’s also very effective to write your own personal letter expressing how you feel. Make sure to send this to all the committee members (see below) AND your own representative (if he/she is not on the committee).
Mary Hayashi – Chair, Dem-18
Letters can be faxed here: (916) 319-2118
Bill Berryhill – Vice Chair, Rep-26
Michael Allen, Dem-7
Betsy Butler, Dem-53
Mike Eng, Dem-49
Curt Hagman, Rep-60
Jerry Hill, Dem-19
Fiona Ma, Dem-12
Cameron Smyth, Rep-38
(3) Please share this information with family, colleagues and clients, post on social media, blog about it and add it to your ezines
(4) Myself and five or six other nutrition professionals will be attending the hearing on Tuesday – if you would like to come and show your support please email me and/or show up. I live near Sacramento and I am coordinating the local effort. At this time the hearing will be between 9am and 12:30pm and everyone present will be able to state their opinion. We don’t yet know how much more each of us can say. Location: CAPITAL BUILDING – Old side (renovated side) 4th floor, Room 447.
(5) Consider volunteering your time, either now or in the coming weeks and months – this issue won’t be going away any time soon and we could do with the help of folks with any legal experience and/or organizing experience
(6) Consider joining the Alliance for Natural Health http://www.anh-usa.org, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable health and freedom of choice in healthcare through good science and good law. They protect the right of natural-health practitioners to practice and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options they prefer. Membership is just $25 a year
(7) If you are reading this and are a nutrition professional and are not yet a member of the NANP – National Association of Nutrition Professionals (www.nanp.org), consider joining NANP so together we can stay informed and serve as nutrition professionals. I’m a long-standing member and currently serve as President. It’s a great organization with amazing benefits!
(8) Finally we’d love to see you at our annual NANP conference next weekend April 31/May 1 in San Francisco. Coco Newton, RD, CCN will be one of the great presenters and her topic will address similar issues the nutrition professionals have experienced in Michigan. Register here.
If you are not a California resident
If you are not a California resident I encourage keep informed as this has happened in other states and may come to your state next. Your best bet is to join the Alliance for Natural Health http://www.anh-usa.org which is part of an international organization dedicated to promoting sustainable health and freedom of choice in healthcare through good science and good law. They protect the right of natural-health practitioners to practice and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options they prefer. Membership is just $25 a year!
Wrapping up and thanks!