In the 69-page Senate Bill 2936 introduced by Chicago Democratic Party State Senator Iris Y. Martinez, dietitians are seeking to exclude everyone but their licensed selves from giving advice about health food.
Before I go into the details, let me speak from 16 years in the Illinois House and 8 more closely observing the process.
Licensing is never, never about anything but conveying special privilege upon some class of people. That was made most obvious by legislation requiring nail technicians and tree trimmers to be licensed. These are businesses that someone with nothing can start.
Now the privilege may be just upon those who provide the training, but, in all licensing bills, following the money is where to start.
Below is what legislators will read in their Digest listing of Senate Bill 2936. Boy is it long. Eyes glaze over time.
Remember the Wizard of Oz’ saying, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?”
Remember what Dorothy says?
“You’re a very bad man.”
Here’s the synopsis:
Amends the Dietetic and Nutrition Services Practice Act. Changes the
short title to the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act.
Provides that any
person who practices, offers to practice, attempts to practice, or holds
oneself out as being able to provide dietetics and nutrition services
without being licensed under the Act shall, in addition to any other
penalty provided by law, pay a civil penalty to the Department of Financial
and Professional Regulation in an amount not to exceed $10,000 (instead of
$5,000) for each offense as determined by the Department. [Emphasis added.]
number of members on the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Board to 5
(instead of 7). [Concentrates power in the hands of dietitians.]
Provides that to qualify for licensure as a dietitian
nutritionist, the number of hours completed in a dietetic internship or
documented, supervised practice experience in dietetics and nutrition
services is a minimum of 1,200 hours (instead of 900 hours). [Increases money going to those who educate dietitians.]
the Department may, with regard to any license, refuse to issue or renew or
may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand or take other
disciplinary or non-disciplinary action as the Department may deem proper,
including imposing fines not to exceed $10,000 (instead of $1,000) per
violation, for any one or any combination of specified offenses.
provision concerning the confidentiality of all information collected by
the Department in the course of an examination or investigation of a
licensee or applicant. Repeals provisions concerning transition and
deposit of fees and fines. [No Freedom of Information access here.]
Makes other changes. Amends the Regulatory
Sunset Act to extend the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act from January
1, 2013 to January 1, 2023. Effective immediately.
There are no paragraph breaks in the summary as legislators will see it on their computer screens.
So, what’s going on?
What to guess where most health food advice comes from now?
My guess would be health food stores or on-line or telephone sources.
Dr. Joe Mercola, are you listening?
Being a tenacious Osteopathic Physician researcher may not be good enough. Maybe your order takers will have to be able to do more than read your hard-found advice. Maybe they will have to be dietitians, if this bill passes.
Have you emailed your Illinois list a message asking them to contact the Senate Committee on Licensed Activities, which–how coincidental!–is chaired by the sponsor of this bill to restrict health food advice-giving?
- Chairperson Iris Y. Martinez (D)
- V.C. Emil Jones, III (D)
- Annazette R. Collins (D)
- Gary Forby (D)
- Michael W. Frerichs (D)
- William R. Haine (D)
- Martin A. Sandoval (D)
- Minority Spokesperson Ron Sandack (R)
- Pamela J. Althoff (R)
- Kirk W. Dillard (R)
- Christine J. Johnson (R)
- Kyle McCarter (R)
The bill would require these categories of advice givers to be a “Dietitian Nutritionist.”
What kind of advice?
“Dietetics and nutrition services” means the integration and application of principles derived from the sciences of food and nutrition to provide for all aspects of nutrition care for individuals and groups, including, but not limited to
- nutrition counseling
- nutrition assessment
- medically prescribed diet
- medical nutrition therapy
You have to read the all-inclusive definitions of these headings to comprehend the extent of the all-encompassing scope of the power grab by the dietitians. [Start on page 12.]
And, what organization is going to certify that one is capable of providing the nutritional advice?
Why the “accrediting body of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as for the American Dietetic Association.”
What a surprise.
And, just in case you have figured out the monopoly purpose of this legislation, read this on page 17:
“No person may engage for remuneration in the practice of dietetics and nutrition services nutrition services practice or hold himself or herself out as a licensed dietitian nutritionist unless the person is licensed in accordance with this Act.”
The licensing board will no longer have a doctor or a nurse on its board, if this bill passes.
Don’t want anyone with different and broader medical education taking part in the licensing decisions, do we?
Four dietitians and a lay person. That’s good enough.
Lots of pages about penalties. One about making disciplinary information top secret, hush, hush. Wouldn’t want pesky reporters to find out how such hearings go down.
The power to issue subpoenas goes from “shall” to “may.”
All in all a bill in search of a problem that does not exist.
Let the free market work, dietitians.
That’s my advice.
When asked about the bill, State Senator Pam Althoff characterized it as “ridiculous.”
She said her Senate staff had heard from no opponents. She though chiropractors, naprapaths, health food stores and others in the business would have made contact by now.