Illegal Nutrition BlogPosted by on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
When he was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” or “hunter-gatherer” diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success. source
However, he found out in short order, that his blog is illegal. At his blog, www.diabetes-warrior.net, he documented his entire journey and offered advice to people who were looking for answers and solutions to their condition. Since it worked for him, he obviously advocates for it on his blog. But, the The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition threatened to send him to jail. Evidently, they believe, like many in government, that they have a monopoly on truth. The concern here should not be that some rogue person was practicing nutrition without a license, but that anyone with a different opinion is somehow silenced.
Jan. 12, Cooksey attended a nutrition seminar at a church in Charlotte. The speaker was the director of diabetes services for a local hospital.
“She was giving all the wrong information, just like everyone always does — carbs are OK to eat, we must eat carbs to live, promoting low-fat, etc.,” Cooksey said. “So I spoke up.”
After the meeting he handed out a couple of business cards pointing people to his website.
Three days later, he got a call from the director of the nutrition board.
So, that’s how it starts. Competition and differing opinion. We can’t handle that in the home of the brave. We also think citizens can’t handle information that might not be orthodox. That’s why we search for these things on the internet. We already know what our doctors are going to tell us (Regardless of what you think about the diet he is advocating, we are talking about his freedom to dispense information here).
I know plenty of people who have started fitness blogs and advocated one or the other method for getting into shape. I wonder if they know they’re walking on thin ice? I also remember when the FDA made General Mills change the wording on Cheerios boxes because otherwise, Cheerios was violating the law by claiming certain health benefits.
Anyway, it turns out that Mr. Cooksey is allowed to keep his blog and stay out of jail. So, what did he have to do? (emphasis in the original source)
In response to this investigation, I did three things:
1) stopped doing my published advice column.
2) took down my diabetes support package links.
3) and made my disclaimer more prominent. Additionally, I added a disclaimer at the bottom of every page.
Because I complied with their order to stop speaking and to change what I say and what I publish, the board concluded that I am in substantial compliance and closed the investigation.
All this means is that the board has violated my First Amendment rights by silencing me and altering how I express my opinions.
My compliance is compliance with their violation of my rights, not an agreement between us that I was wrong and they were right.
The letter actually threatens to keep monitoring me.
I have absolutely no intention of complying with the board’s violation of my free speech rights. I intend to defend those rights, not only for myself, but for everyone.
This is America and in America people should be free to give each other advice about things like diet.
But, this America is not how it is portrayed in folklore — the land of the free and the home of the brave. We’re so free, that we can’t give birth at home or give nutrition advice. And we’re so brave that we can’t handle dissenting opinion.
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