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North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-haff-veys-to-maek-you-schutt-down dept.

Censorship 515

vvaduva writes "The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle... the state diatetics and nutrition board decided [Steve] Cooksey's blog — Diabetes-Warrior.netviolated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to 'practicing nutrition,' the board's director says, and in North Carolina that's something you need a license to do." If applied consistently, I think this would also clear out considerable space from the average bookstore's health section. (And it could be worse; he could have been offering manicures.)

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515 comments

Practicing nutrition? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39781885)

I guess this means I should stop reading the ingredients in my food and trying to eat healthy and balanced. Don't want to be jailed for "practicing nutrition"

Re:Practicing nutrition? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39781935)

Citizen, don't you know that you're incapable of doing anything without government oversight?

Re:Practicing nutrition? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782197)

Don't worry, you'll still be able to practice hyperbole at Fox News levels.

Re:Practicing nutrition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782415)

Opposing government authority is verboten on Slashdot. You shall be censor...moderated!

You Forgot the Part About the Money (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781973)

I guess this means I should stop reading the ingredients in my food and trying to eat healthy and balanced. Don't want to be jailed for "practicing nutrition"

He makes money on ad revenue for this advice. And also from the article:

McCullagh said the board may be on more solid ground in its complaint about the telephone support packages Cooksey offers. “But if customers are paying $97 or $149 or $197 a month to have someone listen, that sounds a lot like life coaching, which doesn't require a license.”

So I think the board is trying to do Crooksey a favor because here's what's going to happen. Someone is going to die after telling their family members that they've stopped seeing a regular doctor and went holistic with Crooksey when they should have had their ankle amputated. The family is going to sue Crooksey probably with a number of things like practicing nutrition without a license, etc etc. And since Crooksey is making money off this operation it's going to be hard to tell the court that was just friendly advice over tea. Crooksey isn't going to have malpractice insurance and his first amendment rights aren't going to protect him from the lawsuits that follow regarding the repercussions of his preachings.

Crooksey should be able to say whatever he wants and put it on his blog. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be held accountable for what he says. It's wrong for the board to try and shut him down now but if I were them I would just kindly let Crooksey know that the things he is saying might leaving him with serious liabilities in due time.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782131)

Fuckin moron. Enjoy your chemtrail sprayed air, your floridated water, and the fukushima fallout. Fuck reality eh?

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (0, Troll)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782157)

The first amendment doesn't apply here anyway.

I quote: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Emphasis mine. People forget the Constitution limits FEDERAL powers, but that

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (10th Amendment)

So a state, not being specifically forbidden from limiting free speech, may in fact do so. They shouldn't, but they can.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782233)

Wow. So you know nothing about the series of landmark Supreme Court cases establishing that the 14th Amendment extends the protections of the Bill of Rights to protection from state infringement.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782263)

This hasn't been true for almost 100 years. Google "Incorporation of the Bill of Rights".

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782307)

The first amendment doesn't apply here anyway.

I quote: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Emphasis mine. People forget the Constitution limits FEDERAL powers, but that

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (10th Amendment)

So a state, not being specifically forbidden from limiting free speech, may in fact do so. They shouldn't, but they can.

Wow, what a concept. Could this argument be used to shut down those damned Westborough Baptists? I think I will ask my state AG.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#39782395)

If you could shut down the Westboro Baptists, would you?

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (1)

drawfour (791912) | about 2 years ago | (#39782423)

Try reading up about the 14th Ammendment, and how it applies to the first ammendment. Here, let me help you out [wikipedia.org] . Read the second paragraph, and you can follow the links therein to see how things are applied.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782171)

He makes money on ad revenue for this advice.

*sigh*

I don't give a shit. I really don't. I'm tired of this mentality that says that making money on ads is somehow more evil than usual because of the content on your website. Such bullshit. Either way, you're making money off of ads. It's your website.

They might have been right to shut down the website, but not for this reason.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#39782317)

How about "he makes money, period." The important part is that it's a significant source of economic gain, which makes it a business. Being a business means more liability, under consumer-protection laws.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782353)

The point is he is profiting from people taking his advice.

This means that if his advice is bad he's profiting from misleading people. Since he isn't certified as a qualified professional in the filed on which he's advising people there's a pretty good chance that at least some of his advice is bad.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#39782365)

That doesn't make it evil, that makes it a commercial enterprise. You telling your buddy the key to diabetes is drinking 3 cans of coke a day is different than you charging for advice that says the same, or generating revenue from ad sales on your website than promotes the same.

In one case, your friend is being an idiot for listening to you. In the other you are fraudulently presenting the information commercially. Advice of various sorts (legal, medical, apparently nutritional in north caronlina) requires you be licenced so that people are protected from businesses selling snake oil to cure diabetes.

IANAL, so consider this in the advice to a buddy category. But if you have a business where you practice medicine, law, or nutrition in north carolina expect them to come after you eventually.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782213)

The laws are protecting people from their own stupidity? Amazing...

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782257)

Someone is going to die after telling their family members that they've stopped seeing a regular doctor and went holistic with Crooksey when they should have had their ankle amputated.

Wait, what?

I can understand someone doing something stupid like deciding to forego certain medications (in this case Metformin, Insulin, whatever) in favor of some holistic thing, but skipping surgery based on what some random dude on a blog says? C'mon, you're flirting with argumentum ad absurdum there.

Don't get me wrong - I agree with your main point: if he's charging money giving actual medical advice sans license, he's opened himself up to a shitload of liability, and if something goes wrong, he's liable to become a permanent pauper.

OTOH, as long as he was smart enough to put up the regular disclaimers ("this is not actual medical advice, always see and trust your doctor first, etc...") then nobody has a leg to stand on (I know, I know...) when it comes to prosecuting him, because as long as those disclaimers are prominent enough to be legible on his site or elsewhere, anyone trying to sue him would have a very hard time winning.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782305)

Crooksey isn't going to have malpractice insurance

Good luck finding a lawyer to take that suit without an insurance company payout at the end.

Re:You Forgot the Part About the Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782343)

"Crooksey should be able to say whatever he wants and put it on his blog. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be held accountable for what he says."

Under these circumstances, free speech even exists in China, and just about every country. You can say anything you want, but you will be held accountable and be punished, punishment enforced by governmental bodies.

Ironically, my Captcha is severe.

Re:Practicing nutrition? (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782067)

Can't he just move the hosting of his site to another provider ( one that is outside of the US ) and then tell them to go fuck themselves ? Oh wait, I am talking about the US, how silly of me! But seriously, wouldn't that solve it ?

Re:Practicing nutrition? (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782159)

Can't he just move the hosting of his site to another provider ( one that is outside of the US ) and then tell them to go fuck themselves ? Oh wait, I am talking about the US, how silly of me! But seriously, wouldn't that solve it ?

Not if he's charging for his services and receiving the money in NC. If he's operating his business in NC then he's going to be subject to NC laws.

Re:Practicing nutrition? (0, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#39782411)

Could that mean we can jail almost all the Vegans out there, who give us a hard time, for those who actually eat meat.

he was giving out business cards.... (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781903)

FTFA: [carolinajournal.com]
"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."


once you go into the real world and hand out business cards you are operating a business, it's no longer free speech. Title is misleading.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39781951)

Title is misleading.

This should replace "First Post!" You may be wrong, but it's a safe bet to make without even reading the summary or article.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39781959)

So handing out business cards is the definition of a business transaction? Is there some sort of a law that says you can't use business cards for personal use?

What happened to a business transaction being the exchange of money for a service or item?

What's next, needing a license to hand out free pamphlets?

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782145)

So handing out business cards is the definition of a business transaction?

No, but handing out cards advertising services that you offer in return for compensation sure makes it look like one.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782275)

So handing out business cards is the definition of a business transaction?

No, but handing out cards advertising services that you offer in return for compensation sure makes it look like one.

Is he actually getting compensation? I read the article and I didn't see anything stating that. I didn't see anything on his web site about compensation, but now it's down, so I can't take another look right now.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782341)

"So handing out business cards is the definition of a business transaction? Is there some sort of a law that says you can't use business cards for personal use?"

It's not about there being a law saying you can't use business cards. There are laws about running a business, and what it boils down to is that you can't run a business in everything but name. The fact he was using business cards adds weight to the allegation that he is running a business but failing to follow business laws.
For a similar situation, consider somebody screwing workman's compensation programs. He says he has this horrible back injury, and proceeds to go on a world wide vacation where he takes some beautiful pictures of himself skydiving, rock climbing, skiing, parachuting, and some excellent fishing. None of that is illegal, but it sure as hell is going to get our friend in trouble with the government when his Facebook photos end up in the wrong hands.

"What happened to a business transaction being the exchange of money for a service or item?"

Well... IANAL but I'd say handing out the business cards would count as solicitation at least, maybe a transaction, and even hits to his site might count.

"What's next, needing a license to hand out free pamphlets?"

In some places you would need exactly that. And if they're promoting a business you're going to have a hard time arguing that it's not business-related. Maybe you could do it if it was a Charitable organization, those things can have some... unusual... legal exemptions.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39781975)

Business cards, rather than doing things for money, is what makes a business?

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781977)

once you go into the real world and hand out business cards you are operating a business, it's no longer free speech.

Uh... not a Constitutional scholar, I take it?

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782047)

So false advertising is protected speech now?

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782115)

Didn't read the article. But doesn't depend on what he was advertising ? If at no point he said or insinuated that he is an expert, there shouldn't be any problem, right ?

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39782313)

If at no point he said or insinuated that he is an expert, there shouldn't be any problem, right ?

That is the problem, you should not require a license or permission to provide dietary advice. They are selectively enforcing it only on him as an individual. Almost all "health oriented" marketing advertisements of all kinds are in violation unless the person who wrote the ad copy purchased a license from NC to be permitted to exercise free speech in NC. Also most restaurant reviewers, cooking TV shows, are illegal in NC. The only reason he is being selectively punished is merely because he's one dude who publicly humiliated some moron in power, who now wants to get even with him. What a disgusting government NC has.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782139)

No but giving nutrition advice is protected speech. Otherwise you'd not be able to make a video to tell viewers, "You really should stop eating sugar," without getting drug to court by the Carolina government for talking w/o a license. The professor who posted the youtube video "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" would now be a criminal.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782323)

obama is and even he doesn't fucking understand the constitution. what makes you think joe random on slashdot would.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781983)

Yes, that. And providing one-on-one advice for a small fee... and quite a few other pretty clear violations.

I'm strongly inclined to agree with NC on this one.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782009)

So every time I give out business cards to friends so they have my contact info, it's a business transaction?

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782073)

If the context is to sell them something, the yes.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782011)

"The board also directed Cooksey to remove a link offering one-on-one support, a personal-training type of service he offered for a small fee. "

He was selling his services. Yes, he was practicing without a license. That's not blogging, that's not free speech. I can't offer one-on-one personal legal advice for a small fee because... wait for it.... i'm not an attorney.

“But if customers are paying $97 or $149 or $197 a month to have someone listen, that sounds a lot like life coaching, which doesn't require a license.”

Then start a life coaching website and charge for that. Just like I can't start a legal blog and charge $197 a month "to listen" and then claim "it's life coaching!"

I'm all for free speech, but this guy with clearly trying to practice without a license and when he got busted he cried "free speech! I have a disclaimer!" Come on, this guy gives free speech a bad name.

Advice is free. Charging for advice, now you're running a business and you should have a license.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782235)

>>>He was selling his services. Yes, he was practicing without a license. That's not blogging, that's not free speech.

So if I help someone fix their computer over the phone, or via video chat, and then charge 1-2 hours for my time, I've commited a crime of practicing engineering without a license?!?!?

God damn. You can't even open your mouth w/o tripping over some damn law & having the full weight of some government full upon you. Witness the poor UK citizen who is being drug out of his homeland into the Soviet Union of the USSA because he posted a link to piratebay and isohunt.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (2)

Rakishi (759894) | about 2 years ago | (#39782309)

If wherever you are requires a licence for fixing computers then yes you did. I don't know of any places that do.

Engineering (2)

isopropanol (1936936) | about 2 years ago | (#39782393)

Just if you charge someone for designing a computer, not fixing.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782277)

I asked a similar question elsewhere, but why should he need a license?

  If anything the license makes him more dangerous if he is a quack. He just needs to pass some test that is most likely BS and pay the government money, now he seems like a legit expert to people.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#39782401)

I asked a similar question elsewhere, but why should he need a license?

If anything the license makes him more dangerous if he is a quack. He just needs to pass some test that is most likely BS and pay the government money

I see you managed to answer your own question nicely....

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

El Torico (732160) | about 2 years ago | (#39782357)

If he's doing this for money, then yes, NC has a case if they require licensing for nutritionists, but IANAL, so I could be wrong.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782055)

Does he have a corporation? Is he collecting cash? If no to both things, he's not operating a business.

Also in the modern world, what's a "business card"? If I write down my website cureyourselfwithbetternutrition.com and hand it to someone, have I committed a crime in the eyes of North Carolina's government? Is a "businesscard" attachment to my emails considered operating a business and being arrested?

Obviously we don't know all the details, but knowing how politicians act (they serve the drug & food corporations that paid them), I can't help wondering if this is another case like the Kids who are being fined for serving lemonade to passersby..... a way to use regulation to eliminate competition that hurts the megacorps' bottom line. Now instead of getting free/cheap nutrition advice (or lemonade), you are forced to go spend thousands of dollars on heart & blood pressure pills (or the Coke-owned lemonade products).

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

ttyRazor (20815) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782251)

maybe not incorporated, but he is collecting money for his "services". This guy is going beyond saying "this worked for me!" and is pushing it on other people, treating his own anecdotal experience as a one size fits all cure for anyone with diabetes.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#39782375)

You do not have to be incorporated to operate a business. If you use your real name, you don't even have to register (although you still need to comply with licensing and tax laws). See sole proprietorship [wikipedia.org] .

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 years ago | (#39782377)

If you read the article, you'd see he offers 1-on-1 services for a fee, so yes, he's collecting cash.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (5, Informative)

SirWhoopass (108232) | about 2 years ago | (#39782397)

"Is he collecting cash?"

Yes.

Obviously we don't know all the details...

Except that we do. Especially if we read the state board's findings linked from his site [diabetes-warrior.net] and the article (6.3MB PDF).

The state board provides a print-out of his site with annotations. People write in with symptoms, he assess their situation and provides specific advice. The board makes it clear that his is counseling, which requires a license. The note that he could describe what he did (meals, fitness, etc), but soliciting questions and advising is what crosses the line.

In addition, he offered consulting services ranging from $98 to $197 per month. These services included phone consultation and email Q&As.

The state board didn't just drop the hammer out of no where. They reviewed his site and advised him that he could not offer nutrition consulting services without a license. Which is clearly what he was doing. He has chosen to ignore them and cry "free speech!".

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782137)

once you go into the real world and hand out business cards you are operating a business, it's no longer free speech. Title is misleading.

Really? The word for "business card" in my native tongue could be translated back into English as "visiting card". Does that make the act of giving it to someone a form a social call or something? Or does it create a legal obligation to pay a visit? Just following your linguistic "logic" there...

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

SkimTony (245337) | about 2 years ago | (#39782409)

Business cards in the US are used very differently than they are in, e.g., Japan. I understand that there, effectively everyone has a card, and they're used to communicate names and other social details when you meet someone. In the US, giving out a business card implies that you're attempting to establish a business relationship (although many do use them for convenience, such as handing your business card to a family member or friend who needs your phone/e-mail because it's already printed on them).

      Not that I necessarily agree with the parent poster's comment on free speech, but it's important to note that the activity described (handing out business cards) has a bit more to do with (at least attempting) to set up a profitable enterprise than it does elsewhere in the world.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782177)

Let me preface my remarks with "IANAL", since I'm not.
What does the business card say? Is his web site for profit?
A card that fits in your wallet doesn't mean you're providing professional services. It's not a business card if it isn't promoting a business. If he's doing this for profit, then I see where North Carolina has a valid issue. If he's doing it to solely express his opinion, without compensation, then I don't see where they have a case.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39782299)

I'd say this is more of a grey area. I'm guessing that the card-bearing person did not assert he is a professional anything and is certainly not asking for any money in any form at all.

Having skimmed the article myself, I can see why the blogger was pretty upset. Carbs are horribly bad for the organs associated with diabetic disordered. This is especially true in the case of processed starches and grains. Evolutionarily speaking, the ability to eat grains at all is an extremely recent development [beyondveg.com] where chimpanzees, our nearest related species, lacks the enzyme we developed while learning to survive in other environments. The real problem with the carbo-diets and diabetes is that these starches turn into sugar almost immediately resulting in reactions quite similar to consuming too much sugar in a more raw form. The idea of telling people they should eat starches while battling a diabetic condition is... well, shocking.

"Low fat" has little to do with the diabetic condition as fats aren't consumed the same ways as other foods. I think it's important to distinguish the difference between fruits/vegetables and grains. They are as different as fruits/vegetables and trees. We know humans can't eat trees and we know why. Humans can eat grains, but it's not "easy" for the human body to do so when compared to fruits/vegetables.

This article [3fatchicks.com] pretty much spells out what I understand about the business of carbs and fat and all that. (So before you call me a quack, go read this sensible, main-stream article on the subject.) The short of it is this: Low-fat is good... low-carb is good. "No carb" is bad.

Sugars and substances like high fructose corn syrup are really bad. But things that turn into sugars are ALSO bad and people simply don't hear this information. They think of grains and food from processed grains are "vegetables" and don't really understand what a problem it actually is. So I feel for this discriminated blogger in that conventional nutritional messages are quite often wrong and even dangerous.

It's interesting that the food industry is doing everything it can to push grains for human consumption. It's also of interesting note that the adaptation in humans which enable the consumption of grains probably saved humans from becoming extinct and certainly enabled the spread of the species across the planet. So I'm kind of torn on the topic of grains... on one hand, it's bad... on the other hand, it probably enabled human survival.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

OFnow (1098151) | about 2 years ago | (#39782363)

You do know that the stores sell blank cards and you can print anything on them (even how to contact you!) and pretty much whatever you print it's still called a business card? So yes, no matter what you print on a card it's pretty much still free speech.

Re:he was giving out business cards.... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39782417)

How does opening a business mean that one loses his free speech rights?

This is the same kind of nonsense that Nancy Pelosi is trying to push right now in her attempt to amend the Constitution. The so called Peopleâ(TM)s Rights Amendment [bostonherald.com] would deny people the right to free speech if those people incorporate.

Stupid Tarheels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39781921)

IIRC, they accused a man of practicing engineering because he was able to accurately refute some highway rule in a scientific way.

Protecting domains (1, Troll)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781933)

Geez, if you started this process where would it end. You would have to shut down all the biology departments in schools for practicing Religion without the tax exempt status. You would have to jail all the "Job Creator" appologists for operating without a "Snake Oil" license. It would be total anachry. Free speach no more ,without paying someone for the right to say it (unless your already a member of the club and paid your dues).

good (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781941)

Lets bring this sort of thing to all the people that are effectively practicing medicine without a license.

Re:good (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781999)

Why?

Re:good (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782113)

Because they bilk, harm and kill people. Often with free reign.

Children are dead because some unqualified person was lying about vaccine harm,
People with diabetes are going to be a lot worse off because this guy is pretending to be an expert.

Re:good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782033)

I'm glad that NC doesn't know about that time my mommy put a bandits on my bo-bo.

That's NC for you (2, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781993)

First in flight, 48th in education...

Am I the only one not surprised by this?

Re:That's NC for you (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782069)

And apparently 14th in fat [chartsbin.com] .

Re:That's NC for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782295)

Nah, I saw those early aeroplanes too.

Re:That's NC for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782331)

>48th in education...

At first that was interesting but then I realized it means nothing. 48th in what? Spending? Enrollment? Standardized test scores? K-12 or higher ed? Both? Does the stat include charter schools? Private schools? And by what kind of margin do they trail the average state? If all 50 states are close in whatever metric you use, being 48th means nothing.

Without more info, that statistic is just sensational.

We voted for it (-1, Troll)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39781995)

I, for one, welcome our Liberal/Progressive/Socialist/Communist Overlords! Go Hope and Change (tm)(r)(c)!!!

Re:We voted for it (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782125)

because Obama run NC now?

Re:We voted for it (0)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782215)

You kidding? You don't think this is happening everywhere? Freedom is being lost everywhere. It starts at the top. This NC department is just a copy-cat of the FDA

Re:We voted for it (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#39782359)

It's never been considered 'freedom' to commit fraud.

1st ammendment right violated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782005)

I say, allow individuals to say whatever they want, be it true or false. Also, the listeners/readers need to be allowed to decide what they do with that information, They must be allowed to suffer the full consequences, be they good or bad. The government needs to step out of the way and let We The People take full emotional, financial, physical -- what have you -- responsibility for the consequences of our choices, even if they are poor choices. End the nanny state please.

IANAL equivalent (1)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782007)

Seems to me if he just included the dietary equivalent of IANAL in his signature he could sidestep most of this criticism. Such as: "I am not a licensed nutritional expert, but I do have experience and common sense, and I think..."

Re:IANAL equivalent (1)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782043)

At the bottom of his blog it says: "I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist in fact I have no medical training of any kind. If I can figure this out so should they if it wasn’t for their A) Intellectual Laziness B) Willful ignorance C) Greed D) All of the Above :)"

Re:IANAL equivalent (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782285)

All he has to do is to stop charging for nutritional advice, and have the disclaimer.

Nutrition Blog (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782017)

A nutrition blog
Is a horrible slog.
Go straight razor smooth,
Get some barbecued hog!
Burma Shave

Sweet, I'm a practicing therapist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782023)

I tell people to pull their heads out of their asses quite a bit. Do I need a license for that?

Re:Sweet, I'm a practicing therapist (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782229)

Only if you charge for it. How do I get that job?

Re:Sweet, I'm a practicing therapist (1)

El Torico (732160) | about 2 years ago | (#39782403)

Only if you offer to do it for a fee. Doing it for fun, on the other hand, is just "being helpful".

Sometimes I Like the Ads (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782025)

I particularly like all of the "Become and Nutritionist" and "Become a Health Coach" ads that I see with this story. By the way, what the hell is a "Health Coach"? How many players are there on a "Heath Team"? Is there a professional league? What do they call the finals?

Re:Sometimes I Like the Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782093)

I particularly like all of the "Become and Nutritionist" and "Become a Health Coach" ads that I see with this story. By the way, what the hell is a "Health Coach"? How many players are there on a "Heath Team"? Is there a professional league? What do they call the finals?

Wow, you are not funny or creative, but surely overweight and single

All over (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782059)

My psych prof in college had to be careful not to use "Dr." as a title on anything in NYS, even though he had a valid doctorate in psychology. I believe it had something to do with the doctorate not being in clinical psychology or somesuch.

Although I can see these rules being for consumer protection, many of them are poorly implemented.

To Jury (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782077)

Any jury that convicts. Are scum of the earth. Jury nullification.

Long arm of the law ... ? (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782095)

The server appears to be in Utah, not North Carolina. Certainly Provo isn't within the NC Board of Nutrition's jurisdiction.

Education ranking... (0)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782119)

According to the Huffington Post [huffingtonpost.com] in 2011, NC ranks 36 in the nation and below average. Not that I take much stock in the Huffington Post. However, I know people that have lived in NC and I was surprised that they ranked as high as they did compared to what I've been told.

all for a FAQ (3, Interesting)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782121)

They call a FAQ a 'assessing and counseling readers' because it answers questions. From the article:

Where it crosses the line, Burill said, is when a blogger “advertises himself as an expert” and “takes information from someone such that he’s performing some sort of assessment and then giving it back with some sort of plan or diet.”

Cooksey posted a link (6.3 MB PDF download) to the board’s review of his website. The document shows several Web pages the board took issue with, including a question-and-answer page, which the director had marked in red ink noting the places he was “assessing and counseling” readers of his blog.

“If people are writing you with diabetic specific questions and you are responding, you are no longer just providing information — you are counseling,” she wrote. “You need a license to provide this service."

The board also found fault with a page titled “My Meal Plan,” where Cooksey details what he eats daily.

In red, Burril writes, “It is acceptable to provide just this information [his meal plan], but when you start recommending it directly to people you speak to or who write you, you are now providing diabetic counseling, which requires a license.”

The board also directed Cooksey to remove a link offering one-on-one support, a personal-training type of service he offered for a small fee.

Cooksey posts the following disclaimer at the bottom of every page on his website:

“I am not a doctor, dietitian, nor nutritionist in fact I have no medical training of any kind.”

The idea that only licensed people can discuss a subject that everyone is familiar with is like the freak flip-side to 'teach the controversy'; instead of forcing people to disseminate wrong information, they've decided that only government licensed counselors speak the truth.

Re:all for a FAQ (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 2 years ago | (#39782351)

they've decided that only government licensed counselors speak the truth.

And it gets downright entertaining when you have the licensed elite battling it out between themselves. Some cardiologists recommend diets that are in direct opposition to what some dietitians would tell you, for instance.

Gillian McKeith (1)

iB1 (837987) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782127)

Can someone PLEASE threaten to shut down Gillian McKeith in the UK? Please please please! That woman is a quack of the highest order!

Kevin Trudeau would complain (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782175)

this would also clear out considerable space from the average bookstore's health section.

Trudeau would have to get a real job rather than claiming "The Man" is trying to keep "free" cancer cures secret from the public and harassing him.

After all, Big Government is in cahoots with Big Pharma so people are bled dry using tested and approved medicines rather than "vitamin" pills to cure cancer.

The rantings of a lone datapoint (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782193)

Just because one person did something and got well does not, in any way, imply
that it works, or is even a good idea for the population as a whole.

It is exactly this kind of stuff the general public is very susceptible to,
and needs protection from, so kudos to North Carolina.

Quick Fix... (2)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39782207)

All they have to do is place a disclaimer on the site that says "I am not a practicing nutritionist. The following nutrition tips are for entertainment only. Please consult with your North Carolina Practicing Nutritionist before following anything on this site."

Crisis deverted.

Power hungry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782223)

What the hell is wrong with the people in charge that they feel the need to hassle an innocent blogger? At worst he gives out bad adivse and screws up a diabetic's diet...they have civil court for that kind of thing.

In the land of uncle jesse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782231)

NC, endowed with the natural wonders of the Great Smokey Mountains and Outer Banks is one of my favorite eastern states. Years ago, I used to work around RTP. Heard a story from a friend regarding a young mother of 3 who was busy strapping her youngest into the car while the older 5 yr old strayed into the street playing. They lived at the end of a dead end road out in the cuntry where the only traffic occurred during work drive times. A neighbor reported the mother for child endangerment. The state used the complaint to remove the children from their home pending investigation. Nice place to visit, just don't live their.

DAMMIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39782239)

Damm you North Carolina. It's really hard to take you serious when you pull INSANE SHIT LIKE THIS.

Get smarter!

What are his qualifications? (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#39782321)

Is he qualified to do what he is doing? Does this guy have a degree in nutrition or certification from a third party? Is he running a business? To put it bluntly, how do I know that he isn't a crackpot?

They want this guy to prove he isn't a crackpot in offering what is effectively medical advice. How is this a free speech issue? I'm not a doctor, so I have no place being in a business offering medical advice. The entire point of having things like certification boards is to keep people like this person from simply hanging a sign and going into business without the necessary qualifications.

If this person is qualified, than I'm much more inclined to think that the state can bugger off.

How is this different from any licensing? (2, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#39782335)

There is no difference between this and licensed doctors, engineers, lawyers, ect.

These should all be voluntarily organizations. So if you want to see a real doctor you can find one that has AMA accreditation. But if you want to see a witch doctor, herbal specialist, or chiropractor go ahead. It's your body.

Now if someone claims to have AMA accreditation when they don't that is committing fraud.

Practicing Prostitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39782371)

The Government of North Carolina should go F*** Themselves because they pay themselves for the pleasure as they are corrupt government whores. So that would technically make them prostitutes.

This is what happens when business interest groups lobby to pass laws to "protect their profession", this is why in some states you can buy a teeth cleaning kit but you can't technically have your friend help you use it because then they would be breaking the law for "practicing dentistry without a license" or some other bullshit charge like that.

It would be like con-agra or monsanto or your local grocery store lobbying to pass laws to make it illegal to have your own garden because you are "destroying their business by raising your own food".

This is where I get pissed off when politicians use "number of laws passed" as a "positive bragging metric" when they run for re-election. They will say, hey re-elect me because I am "effective" because i passed 500 laws. Sure they are effective in a way, but how many of those 500 laws are complete bull crap that cause more problems than they solve?

Of course people will say I am a "crazy libertarian" which I am a libertarian and they will say, "Dumb libertarians want NO GOVERNMENT and that is anarchy!"

But that is a complete blatant misrepresentation of libertarianism. Most all libertarians that I talk to DO WANT RULE OF LAW, however they want the sum total NUMBER of laws that the federal, state, and local governments to be LIMITED to something that a person could sit down and read over the course of a week or weekend. And then if any governmental body wants to pass a new law they would have to go in and remove an old law first to "make room for it". They believe that congress should spend 10% of it's time working on new laws and 90% of their time going over and debating old laws and deciding whether or not to keep or throw them out.

The biggest issue is when laws are passed that are then used by ANY group to protect their interests in a vein of limiting any current competition or perceived future competition. Instead of recognizing the efforts of small upstarts, they seek to "hammer down" the upstart pegs that stand out amongst the crowds.

Some advice (2)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#39782389)

If you want to decrease your risk of diabetes, eat less sugar and exercise more.

If you want to lower your blood pressure, eat less sugar, maintain proper electrolyte balance (doesn't necessarily mean less salt!), and exercise more. Also consider breathing/meditating exercises as well.

If you want to lower your risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer, eat more blueberries, green leafy vegetables, garlic, and exercise more.

If you want to decrease your LDL cholesterol levels, eat more oatmeal and olive oil (not together, that would be gross!), and exercise more.

Take that, North Carolina! I just posted nutritional advice without a license!

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