Monday, September 22, 2008

NJ Dietitian Monopoly Bill - Opposition Testimony

Below is Dian Freeman's report on her testimony before the NJ Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, in opposition to the pending bill.

If you are from NJ you can contact your legislators here:

But this problem is being repeated around the country in several other states and is threatened in many more, so here is an Action Item where you can send a message to your local state legislators demanding No Restrictions on Nutritional Free Speech:


By Dian Freeman

I went to speak before the NJ Assembly Health and Senior Services committee Monday, September 15 th in opposition to their bill, A2933, which would make dieticians the sole purveyors of all food and nutrition information. The committee was chaired by one of the sponsors of the bill, Dr. Herb Conaway. His co-sponsor, Connie Wagner, was also present. Under bill A2933, existing practitioners will be banned from working, teaching or lecturing in the field of food, supplements, weight-Loss, or nutrition. (the senate has the same bill called S1941)

The Assembly bill A2933 was passed in committee and it next goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for another vote. They do not expect any opposition to it. If it passes in the Appropriations Committee the bill will next go to the whole Assembly for a final vote to be made law. This is projected to occur on October 23rd, barring any delays in passing it.

A similar bill was vetoed over 13 years ago by then Gov. Christie Whitman as being of no benefit to the citizens of New Jersey and because it would cost the state to monitor and to enforce it. If this bill passes the New Jersey voters will be denied their rights then taxed to pay for the enforcement of their loss of freedom.

In our testimonies to the committee on September 15 th it was obvious that they did not see us as opposition. We were simply insignificant to their greater plan which appears to be to push this bill through for the benefit of their special interest, i.e., the medical and pharmaceutical industries...

One of the dieticians read to a spellbound committee from and said that it is time to let the people of NJ know by licensure of RDs just who are legitimate nutritionists and who are quacks. Her definition of a quack appeared to be anyone not trained as a dietician. She held a copy of and referred to the quack list from, which must be true, she said, as it was written by a MD. She neglected to mention that the author of quack watch has lost his licensed and is no longer an MD and has been totally debunked and discredited by Ken Bolen (go to

Quack watch describes anyone who sells or recommends supplements is a quack. The listing is written by one who is defensive and threatened. It is not a list of one with reason. But, to be fair, it is hard to be reasonable about the benefits of drugs and surgery over the benefits of proper food, holistic balance and effective supplementation.

If you are not familiar with quack watch go and read the listing of who they will consider a quack. I am almost every one of them. And proud of it.

According to one of the dieticians who spoke in favor of bill A2933 (at length and uninterrupted), if one is not trained in food science yet claims to know anything about food then they should be prevented from counseling.

I told them I am not trained in science and proud of it. Food is nature, not science. Besides, science is not doing so well in the health area today. Look at their statistics. The Agence de France reported that an independent study in the UK concluded that the U.S comes in dead last in preventive medical care of all industrialized nations. The rates of heart disease and cancer have not improved one iota in spite of chemotherapy and drugging the vast majority of American adults with cholesterol lowering statin drugs. Obesity and diabetes are epidemic and have been growing steadily since the advent of the medically recommended pyramid and their low-fat, high-carb diet that was started about twenty years ago. This is the diet still recommended by dieticians in spite of its obvious failure.

The fact that natural practitioners are such strong competition to medical drugs and surgery is exhibited by the fact that they must license us out of business. This attests to the fact that natural practitioners and effective diet and supplements are having a great positive affect on the health of America.

It is apparent to me that we are not seen as competition to dieticians, who are basically untrained and benign, it was clear in the assembly meeting that we are seen as competition to medicine, to doctors and their drugs. My friends, they are running scared because traditional healing works.

Its time to make a stand, right here, right now in New Jersey the home of big pharma and the arrogance of those in the medical sciences who show a contempt for and disregard of the laws of nature. These are the natural laws, foods and practices that has seen humanity through tens of thousands of years without modern drugs and surgery

None-the-less the Assembly Committee with whom we met is hell-bent on making dieticians the sole source of information on food, food material, supplements, heath, diet, nutrition and weight-loss. Dieticians will not be allowed to recommend supplements beyond those few they have training in. They have as much training in supplements as a medical doctor will allow. They will not recommend organic or fresh local foods. They are sponsored by Wendy's, McDonalds, PepsiCo, etc. Those great purveyors of healthy eating.

Towards us, those who spoke in opposition to bill A2933, the committee chairman was dismissive, contentious and patronizing. We were interrupted, not permitted the time to complete a point we were making and many of the committee members even left the room while we gave our testimony on record This was disconcerting and distracting enough to make some of us leave our best points unsaid.

But, I now have the experience that taught me not to expect to be treated fairly and they will be unable to distract me again. I watched and now understand their game. And, I realized by their attitude that they underestimate the numbers we represented and they underestimate the number of voters who seek us out for help. They are out of touch with their constituency and the fact that thousands depend upon the free flow of natural health information to buy their supplements. The voters of New Jersey will not be happy with the legislators who vote to take free flowing health information away.

If these bills pass, I will inform the appropriations committee to expect that they will need to put on a lot more cops to enforce them. We have grown leaps and bounds in the last few years. Yes, lots of cops will be needed. The natural practitioners in Ohio were harassed and arrested. Long running family businesses were invaded and closed, lives were ruined and it took years to handle all the court cases. There are thousands more of us in New Jersey than there were in Ohio. It will be expensive for the state of New Jersey to enforce these bills.

These bills, as they have been interpreted in other states in which they passed, Ohio being one, would outlaw not only current practicing nutritionists and other natural practitioners but also will outlaw herbalists, acupuncturists, supplement representatives, yoga instructors, personal trainers, massage therapists, etc if they dare speak, teach, consult, practice or lecture about food, food products and nutrition...

The bill states that any one who speaks about weight-loss must have all their diets, claims and materials approved in writing from a dietician before they can continue their business of weight loss. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig both told us that they have already switched over to dieticians as the authority to dictate their weight loss guidelines. Sure takes away the competitive edge doesn't it? They will all be alike…and just as ineffectual. No one will be able to educate the public about alternative diets like vegan, raw, macrobiotic, high protein, etc.

This bill even would exclude existing nutritionists from practicing. Two such men also spoke in opposition to this bill September 15th. A PhD of Orthomolecular Nutrition was told that his credentials would not be good enough. A doctor who is a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist who has been in practice for 18 years told the committee that this bill would put him out of business (as it would naturopathic doctors, Ayurvedic doctors and all such practitioners). These men were told by the head of the New Jersey RD association that if they wanted to practice they could still do so just by taking the RD exam and by meeting all the other criteria including working a 900 hour residency supervised by a RD. This doctor was incensed and said he couldn't be out of work for six months to a year to meet that criteria of residency while being supervised by a RD and that there is nothing he could learn from an RD anyway. He said that an RD should be learning from him. And, from all of us, I might add. Anyway, he realized that he is in trouble if this bill passes. As are all Americans.

This is an issue of American freedom of speech and choice. Dr. Conaway and his committee would wish to legislate these away from us on the grounds of protecting us from our own choices.

Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the Supreme Court decision on this very topic in Thompson vs. Western States. She wrote:

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that regulating speech must be a last - not first - resort. … We have previously rejected the notion that the Government has an interest in preventing the dissemination of truthful commercial information in order to prevent members of the public from making [even] bad decisions with the information.”

The “Registered Dietitian Licensing” Bills, A2933 and S 1941 ignore the Supreme Court and the constitution…

The proponents of these bills also argue that all professionals are licensed. Well that is a stretch but it is true many are. However, they are not licensed to exclude all competition. That is both unfair and unconstitutional. Doctors are licensed but other doctors still practice both licensed and unlicensed. There are doctors of chiropractic, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc. The justifications for stealing our rights to create a medical monopoly just can’t hold water.

How you can help:

1. Contact all your friends, family, clients, students and ex-students and contact all ancillary businesses you can think of that depend upon free flowing information about natural health (including massage therapists, herbalists, health shops, small farmers, organic stores and farmers, crystal practitioners, reiki practitioners, vaccine activists, moms for health, etc. ) to tell them that we are organizing and uniting those who believe in the freedom to be able to continue to choose natural health care and natural products. Ask them to contact me so we can coordinate who is doing what. We will unite individual coalitions with common interests around this cause, Health Freedom.

We stand now, in New Jersey, to unite for the first time. Once and for all…

I see this attempt by Trenton to favor medical science over natural health care as a positive move for the natural health industry. It is a great opportunity for the various natural health fields and businesses to unite and make our presence and our vast numbers known. We have strength in the truth of nature, our constitutional rights, our God given rights and in reason. Now, we will show them our strength in numbers.

Ask all the people that you know who can help us in this cause to contact me if they will march on Trenton with us when this bill comes to a vote in the Assembly. I need names and numbers of those who will commit. We will not plan a march unless we have the commitment of thousands. Please send me your commitment.

2. Contact all your friends, clients, students and ancillary businesses that depend upon free flowing information about natural health to contact me as to the town/district they live in. I need a person or as many persons I can get from each district who will be wiling to go with me to visit their assemblymen to lobby.

3. Contact all your friends, clients, students and ancillary businesses that depend upon free flowing information about natural health to contact me if they can write or take one of the many editorials I have written as their own to inundate the news media with them. Every soul living in NJ must be made aware of the fact that this bill will lead to a ban of all natural health info as it has in the states where is has already passed. The businesses that depend upon free flowing health info will have a decrease in business until they fade away from lack of business. We will be singing, "Where have all the health shops gone?"

Most of the sponsors of these bills are either MDs or work in the medical/pharma industries. Certainly that fact alone gives these bills the appearance of impropriety. Our legislators are forming a medical monopoly on information.

Next, we go district by district exposing these legislators to their voters in this election year and those of the future. Again, NJ voters will not like legislators restricting their food and supplements information.

4. Contact all representatives and manufacturers of supplements and ask them to alert their client and to contact me to coordinate. Ask them to also contact their friends to get on board with this movement and do what they can to help us with information, numbers of people who will march or volunteer and with donations.

5. Make a list for me and ask those who will help us to make a list of all the businesses that support the natural health field and are dependant upon free flowing exchange of natural information for the continuation of their businesses. Ask all representatives of organizations to contact me, for example, personal trainers, yoga instructors, cooking schools, people who have food or supplement businesses in their homes, etc. It is time for the big and small to unite right now. Small practitioners have rights too. All supplement distributors need to be validated as having a right to exist, a right to speak, a right to share information and experiences and a right to choose your own health modalities, including supplements.

Please contact your people by forwarding this email to as many as you can and by following the Emails up with a call. Call all those you know who do not have Email.

Send everyone to to sign the petition and go on the alert list.

We also need ideas, we need volunteers, we need people to take off from work to march to Trenton with us, we need support in numbers and funds from foundations, organizations and manufacturers.

We need all this quickly. The Assembly will probably vote on this bill, A2933, on the 23rd of October. The senate will be back in session October 2nd and we will not know until then the status of how they will handle their identical bill, S1941. I will keep you posted. Thank you for your support….D.

Thank you for your support….D.

From: Dian Freeman, M.A.
Certified in Clinical Nutrition, Holistic Health, Applied Kinesiology and Biofeedback
Doctoral Candidate in Medical Humanities, Drew University
Morristown, NJ
973) 267-4816

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