August 30, 2014

Important News about Dietitians

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is finally being set back on its heels. In their drive to become the only organization authorized to dispense nutritional information, they are meeting stiff opposition that is foiling their every move and in 2014, the organization lost their stranglehold on Michigan.

Michigan passed its Dietitian/Nutritionist Licensure Act in 2006. This created a monopoly for Registered Dietitians and excluded other nutrition professionals whether equal or better educated and qualified. On July 15, 2014, the governor signed HB 4688 into law, repealing the state's monopolistic licensure law for nutrition professionals.

The effort was a combined effort of several organizations that are working to prevent or repeal other state licensure laws. Other notable successes this year:
  • In New York, ASB 4999, a bill sponsored by the AND which we fought, ultimately died in committee because of all the messages you sent to NY legislators.
  • In the last three years, ANH-USA and its allies have managed to block nineteen separate attempts to institute monopolistic dietetic laws across the nation. We also proactively and positively reshaped the anticompetitive law in Illinois, where the AND is headquartered.
  • The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps a list of professions where each is defined in detail and statistics about it are kept. Previously, “Dietitians and Nutritionists” were categorized together, and the AND was listed as the sole certifying organization for the entire profession. In a milestone victory on January 8, 2014, nutritionists managed to get “Nutrition” defined as a different profession than “Dietetics,” and importantly, the BCNS (Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists) is now identified as the certifying organization for nutritionists. This national, federal recognition of the unique credentials of Certified Nutrition Specialists is extraordinarily important.
  • And don’t forget our recent federal victory in which nutritionists won equal recognition with dietitians for the right to prescribe patient diets in hospitals.”

Some of the organizations working in cooperation include the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH-USA), and other national groups.

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