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First Part of Battle Won in Illinois; With the Help of All of our Illinois Supporters, We Can Achieve Victory!

By James J. Gormley

Illinois’  nutrition community bill (SB 2936) we told you about over the last few days has unanimously passed the Illinois State Senate (51 to 0)! This is an important move forward – and thank you for your commitment thus far!

We now have one more, urgent step: the bill must pass the Illinois House of Representatives.

Between today and Monday we need to make a big noise in the Illinois House, where the dietitian association is working hard to thwart our bill. That’s why we’re asking you to make one more push in the form of emails, faxes, and phone calls to your Illinois state representatives.

To recap, current Illinois law allows a near-monopoly for dietitians, but SB 2936 would open up access to other qualified health professionals. The final vote is expected to come Wednesday, December 5. For many years now the American Dietetic Association (now re-named the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or AND) has been working hard to monopolize all communications and information provided to consumers about nutrition and dietary supplements.

The dieticians’ lobby seeks to not just prevent laypeople from providing dietary advice, but non-RD health professionals as well! The heart of the problem is this: Unlike many health professions, “nutrition advice” is not a single profession, but is a tool-set legitimately used by many professionals (and the public). Those professionals include nutritionists, medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, health coaches, and many more, some of whom are much more qualified to provide such information!

If you are an Illinois resident, we at Citizens for Health are requesting immediate action from you, once again, to advocate for nutritional health freedom in Illinois and urge passage of Senator Martinez’ Bill No. 2936 in the Illinois House of Representatives.

The bill would:

  • Change current law from an RD-only law, to one that permits a wider variety of nutrition education and allows other nutrition exams and credentials (the CNS, CCN, and DACBN).
  • Strengthen exemptions protecting acupuncturists, health food stores and other businesses and employees who respond to consumer questions regarding nutrition and dietary supplement information.

According to the American Nutrition Association (ANA), “This bill doesn’t correct every provision of current law we sought to change. However, the significance of rolling back a monopolistic RD practice law to one which includes other nutritionists and exemptions, is immense.”

Ending a dietetics monopoly and ensuring protection for a diverse range of nutrition care providers for Americans is underway. This is a huge step in the process.

I urge you to take as many of these actions as possible:

1. Call: Make a call to each member on the House Licensing Committee below expressing your support for “the nutrition community position,” which is to support passage of Senator Martinez’ bill.

Rep. Kelly Burke, 217-782-0515

Rep. Renee Kosel, 217-782-0424

Rep. Marcus Evans, 217-782-8272

Rep. Michael McAuliffe, 217-782-8182

Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, 217-782-8007

Rep. Brandon Phelps, 217-782-5131

Rep. Angelo Saviano, 217-782-3374

Rep. Patrick Verschoore, 217-782-5970

Rep. Michael Zalewski, 217-782-5280

2. Send an email to your State Representative by clicking here and entering your address information.

3. Forward this email to any Illinois person or business who supports nutrition rights.

Please take action on letters and phone-calls between today and Monday!! Legislators must hear strong support for the nutrition community bill. The Dietetic Association (AND) will be at the capitol en masse to try to kill this bill.

Please consider what is at stake here — will we have only the dietetics version of nutrition advice, or will Illinois have broader access to nutrition advice? The Dietetic Association (AND) is bringing all the money and forces they can to pass another RD-only law! We have an excellent chance of winning but ONLY with a strong show of support.

Thank you in advance for taking action for health-freedom and nutrition rights in Illinois!

Written by

Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor of Citizens for Health and a principal of Gormley NPI Consulting, James Gormley served as the Editor-in-Chief of "Better Nutrition" magazine and Editorial Director of the Vitamin Retailer Magazine group. He also served as the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs officer for Nutrition 21 and attended Codex Alimentarius meetings in Paris and Rome. An award-winning blogger and author of six books, including "Health at Gunpoint: The FDA’s Silent War Against Health Freedom," Gormley has been a leading consumer health advocate for nearly 20 years.

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