AB575: Protect Your Right to Health Care and Work!

April 22, 2011

**** 5/4 UPDATE: SUCCESS!  AB575 was pulled.  We heard from the office late on Monday that it would not be heard Tuesday May 3 but since we didn’t have anything official, we showed up at the hearing anyway.  It was not heard. This was due to overwhelming opposition to the bill so a big thank you to everyone. I’ll be posting more information in the next few days, weeks and months – this is just the start but now we will have time to educate the legislators on why this is a bad bill.

**** 4/29 UPDATE: BAD NEWS based on calls to Hyashi’s office, AB 575 will be on the docket for next Tuesday May 3 – WITH NO CHANGES – even though they know it’s flawed and that many people oppose it.

Martin Mathews and I learned that Hayashi is planning to introduce the bill as is – that she just needs 4 of the other 8 members of the committee she chairs, give a YES vote to AB575. Apparently, she’ll explain how the bill is flawed, that it will be fixed later (with yet-to-be-determined changes) and ask them to vote yes on it now anyway!  We are figuring out next steps.  Right now we know there will be a local presence to oppose this again. Please use #StpAB575 in twitter to follow and share.

**** 4/26 UPDATE: SUCCESS …for now!  The bill was pulled from discussion due to overwhelming opposition! Details of next steps will be posted shortly. We’ll know Thursday if there will be another hearing Tues May 3.  If it doesn’t make the May 3 date it won’t be heard for another year.   WELL DONE EVERYONE!    *****

4/22: The CA Assembly bill AB 575 will affect your right to access highly qualified nutritional therapists of your choice (if you are a consumer in California) and will also prohibit you from providing valuable nutritional therapy (if you are a nutrition professional in California).  It will be heard before Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protections on Tuesday April 26th, 2011 in Sacramento, CA. This bill is being introduced by the CDA (California Dietetics Association) and Under this bill nutritionists must become licensed dietitians in order to practice! This would create a monopoly for RD’s as clinical nutrition providers.

This is a very hot topic that has been playing out in many states and I encourage you to take action RIGHT AWAY so you don’t lose your freedom of choice and/or your right to work!

Here are some resources for you to learn more:

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The Bill

Here is proposed bill itself

Summary

It’s pretty heavy reading so here is a nice summary of what the bill actually means – from the Alliance for Natural Health

Interview with ANH and Ed Bauman

Martin Mathews of www.nourishinghope.org interviewed Nandini (Alliance for Natural Health www.anh-usa.org) and Dr Ed Bauman (Bauman College www.baumancollege.org) on Reality Sandwich on Thursday and you can listen to this 15 minute interview here.

Interview with Coco Newton and Liz Lipski

And a few weeks ago I interviewed Coco Newton, RD, CCN and Liz Lipski PhD, CCN on a preview call promoting our annual NANP (www.nanp.org) conference April 31, May 1.  You can listen to this 30 minute interview here.  Coco’s topic will address similar issues the nutrition professionals have experienced in Michigan.  Coco is very active in the Michigan Nutrition Association and they have very useful information on their site (http://www.michigannutritionassociation.org/)

Latest newsletter from Alliance for Natural Health (www.anh-usa.org):

“California Assembly Bill 575 creates a monopoly on nutrition services for dietitians, in effect denying consumers access to expert advice from nutritionists, some of the most highly educated and well-respected professionals in the field of nutrition. Presented as a regular licensing bill for dietitians this bill actually limits the practice of other nutrition professionals. Under this bill nutritionists must go through the dietetic program and licensure in order to practice medical nutrition therapy.

The  American Dietetic Association (ADA) has sponsored legislation in over 40 states. This is the organization that lists among its corporate sponsors soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, cereal manufacturers General Mills and Kellogg’s, candy maker Mars, and Unilever, the multinational corporation that owns many of the world’s consumer products brands in foods and beverages.

The negative implications of AB 575 are far reaching.

  • Bad for an already struggling California economy. This bill would effectively eliminate an entire profession and removes all competition in the field of nutrition services.
  • Dampens freedom of choice in healthcare: Nutritionists and dietitians have entirely different philosophical approaches. Each individual has unique nutritional needs and therefore deserve access to choice. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Threatens to increase chronic health indicators among Californians: Nutritionists practice an integrative approach to medicine and concentrate on prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Access to nutritionists should be broadened, not reduced.
  • Penalizes a higher standard of education and training: For example, Certified Nutrition Specialists certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS) have a Master’s degree at a minimum, usually a Ph.D., yet are excluded by this bill unless they meet the requirements of dietitians.”

IF YOU ARE A CALIFORNIA RESIDENT – WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

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If you are a California resident there are a number of things you can do – I’ve outlined these steps below. Please take action before Tuesday next week if you feel this is something you feel strongly about!

(1)  Alliance for Natural Health has a page that will generate a letter for you to automatically send to

* Your Governor
* Your State Senator or Senators
* Your State Representative or Representatives
* All the committee members

Just enter your name, address and modify the sample text letter as you see fit .

****** SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE LEGISLATORS BELOW ********
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Go here to create and send this letter.

(2) Call and email the Committee members and tell them what you think.  Calling is often more effective than emailing!

It’s also very effective to write your own personal letter expressing how you feel. Make sure to send this to all the committee members (see below) AND your own representative (if he/she is not on the committee).

Committee Members

Mary Hayashi – Chair,  Dem-18
(916) 319-2018
[email protected]
Letters can be faxed here: (916) 319-2118

Bill Berryhill – Vice Chair, Rep-26
(916) 319-2026
[email protected]

Michael Allen, Dem-7
(916) 319-2007
[email protected]

Betsy Butler,  Dem-53
(916) 319-2053
[email protected]

Mike Eng, Dem-49
(916) 319-2049
[email protected]

Curt Hagman, Rep-60
(916) 319-2060
[email protected]

Jerry Hill,  Dem-19
(916) 319-2019
[email protected]

Fiona Ma, Dem-12
(916) 319-2012
[email protected]

Cameron Smyth, Rep-38
(916) 319-2038
[email protected]

(3)   Please share this information with family, colleagues and clients, post on social media, blog about it and add it to your ezines

(4)   Myself and five or six other nutrition professionals will be attending the hearing on Tuesday – if you would like to come and show your support please email me and/or show up.  I live near Sacramento and I am coordinating the local effort.  At this time the hearing will be between 9am and 12:30pm and everyone present will be able to state their opinion. We don’t yet know how much more each of us can say.  Location: CAPITAL BUILDING – Old side (renovated side) 4th floor, Room 447.

(5)   Consider volunteering your time, either now or in the coming weeks and months  – this issue won’t be going away any time soon and we could do with the help of folks with any legal experience and/or organizing experience

(6)   Consider joining the Alliance for Natural Health http://www.anh-usa.org, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable health and freedom of choice in healthcare through good science and good law. They protect the right of natural-health practitioners to practice and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options they prefer. Membership is just $25 a year

(7)   If you are reading this and are a nutrition professional and are not yet a member of the NANP  – National Association of Nutrition Professionals (www.nanp.org), consider joining NANP so together we can stay informed and serve as nutrition professionals.  I’m a long-standing member and currently serve as President.  It’s a great organization with amazing benefits!

(8)   Finally we’d love to see you at our annual NANP conference next weekend April 31/May 1 in San Francisco.  Coco Newton, RD, CCN will be one of the great presenters and her topic will address similar issues the nutrition professionals have experienced in Michigan.  Register here.

If you are not a California resident

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If you are not a California resident I encourage keep informed as this has happened in other states and may come to your state next.  Your best bet is to join the Alliance for Natural Health http://www.anh-usa.org which is part of an international organization dedicated to promoting sustainable health and freedom of choice in healthcare through good science and good law. They protect the right of natural-health practitioners to practice and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options they prefer.  Membership is just $25 a year!

Wrapping up and thanks!

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I’ve spent the last few days reading, learning, listening and talking to amazingly supportive people all over the country so we can stop this bill in it’s tracks.  Organizations, schools, practitioners and consumers are coming together to make this happen. I’m blown away by all the support and assistance! And would like to acknowledge the following people/groups:  the NANP board members and staff (www.nanp.org), Ed Bauman PhD (www.baumancollege.org), Martin Mathews (www.nourishinghope.org), Nandini Gopinadh and Gretchen DuBeau (www.anh-usa.org), Dr David Brady (http://www.bridgeport.edu) Dr Anna Kelles PhD (www.nycc.edu), Donna Kelley MS, Krysti Hyllen, JJ Virgin CNS, CHFI, Lisa Bryant NE, Michael Stroka, Judy Stone, Corinne Bush MS, CNS, Dana Reed, MS, CNS (www.reednutrition.com) and all the other concerned people and groups too many to mention!  Thank you so much!

And to you as the reader, if you’ve got this far – thank for supporting me and everyone in the effort and for believing in the value of nutrition the amazing power of food and nutrients!

22 Responses to “AB575: Protect Your Right to Health Care and Work!”

  1. Thanks for filling me in on things that I may not have known about!

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  2. Thanks for putting this together and rallying the troops!

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    You’re very welcome JJ! Thanks for sharing – the more people who know about this the better. Thanks too for making the board call at such short notice – we always value your input .
    Trudy

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  3. Trudy,

    Thanks for sharing and I’ve shared via social media, too. I have many friends and family in California and this could impact so many people on so many levels.

    Write on!~

    Lisa

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Lisa, AKA queen of social media and PR
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    And remember it’s CA in the hotseat right now but many other states have already been affected and many others may be affected in the near future.
    Trudy

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  4. Thank you for posting, and for providing clear steps to take action.

    This is an issue I feel strongly about, as I do not believe that one model of nutritional health care will ever fit everyone – and more often than not, the government guidelines do not encourage people live a vital and health-ful life.

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Kiera
    Absolutely, one model of nutritional health care will never fit everyone and we deserve the right to choose
    Trudy

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  5. Thanks for making us aware Trudy! I will promote this to my CA peeps.
    Kiyla Fenell

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Kiyla – I know I can always count on your support and just saw you shared on FB already! a big thank you!

    [Reply]

  6. Thanks for getting this stuff together for everyone Trudy!
    Dr. Robert Fenell

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    I’m sure you can relate to this – it’s similar to what the chiropractors have fought in the past. Thanks for the support (always) and thanks for sharing on FB – so appreciated!

    [Reply]

  7. Trudy,

    Thanks for keeping us up to date and for all your efforts!

    Beth

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Beth
    You’re very welcome and thanks for your kind offer to help NANP!
    Trudy

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  8. Thank you Trudy for presenting the info in such an organized way. I just called all the assemblymens’ offices and registered my opposition to AB575.

    I feel sad for the many good people who are dieticians as this action by their organization puts them in a negative light. There are plenty of people that need nutrition advice and it makes sense to have a variety of practitioners with different approaches available to the public.

    Anasuya

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Anasuya
    Wonderful thanks! and thanks for trying to reach me on the phone…
    Totally agree re the dietetians comment. Also, I know many great dietitians who do not support this take-over effort by their organization.
    Trudy

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  9. I want to state as a registered dietitian in the State of California, I am sad to see this legislation. Many registered dietitians have not kept themselves current on the non allopathic aspect of nutrition and it has left them ill prepared in our current health care atmosphere. It has also lead to the provision of bad information.
    However, I am also horrified by all of the “weekend certificate” programs to become a nutritionist and believe there should be some control in this area. Most peopele associated with Designs for Health are trained medical professionals with years of schooling/ and or training. There is a large group of people that are calling themselves nutritionists but have no formal schooling, training or knowledge. I would like to see some type of legislation to minimize this aspect of things.

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Eileen
    Thanks so much for supporting us on this legislation!

    I support your second comment. I am president of National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP http://www.nanp.org) and our mission is to enhance the integrity of the holistic nutrition profession through self-governance, educational standards, a rigorous code of ethics and through the administration of the Board Exam in Holistic Nutrition available through the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB), the credentialing arm of the NANP. Our Board Exam in Holistic Nutrition is offered only to professional members of NANP who have a formal education in holistic nutrition or who are licensed professionals whose scope of practice includes the legal right to dispense nutrition education to their patients. We have taken every step possible to ensure a valid and credible board exam for holistically trained nutrition professionals. Our members must also sign our Code of Ethics document (stating they will adhere to our Scope of Practice and Standard of Care). Finally professional members of the NANP are encouraged to provide their clients with a Limit of Services Disclosure which clearly states the services our members are able to provide under their specific state’s laws.

    Finally we welcome you to join NANP in order to further expand your knowledge of your non allopathic aspect of nutrition and so we can learn from you and your experience.

    Trudy

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  10. Trudy,
    I have been studying functional medicine for about a year now. I feel like I am having to relearn so many things from what I have been taught in the allopathic world. It has been an enlightening and humbling experience.
    I think you may have misunderstood my first comment. I do not at all support this legislation for dietitians (despite being one). I do not believe that dietitians should be the only professionals to provide nutrition advice. I also feel that many dietitians that have not educated themselves beyond the allopathic world and may be giving incorrect advice. My experience in functional medicine and allopathic medicine has made me realize they are very limited in their ability to help people with their health issues. I was one of those individuals a year ago until I started my intensive study of functional medicine.
    I would be very interested in joining your group. The organization sounds wonderful. I still practice nutrition in a hospital setting where I have to adhere to the allopathic model of medicine. I have unique insight into that world and would love to share that with your members.

    Eileen

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Eileen
    I should have said “thanks for supporting our opposition to this legislation” instead – I did get it the 1st time, but obviously didn’t articulate it well :) And yes, that’s what we feel: dietitians should not be the only professionals to provide nutrition advice – so pleased to hear you support this.

    We’d love you to join NANP and would love to learn from your hospital experience.

    Can you make it to our annual conference? It’s this coming weekend (April 31, May 1) in San Francisco and the theme this year is, very appropriately, “Building Bridges: Integrating Nutrition Into Today’s Healthcare Practises”. Great place to connect with so many other nutrition professionals all using nutrition in their practises (nutritionists, other RDs, PhDs, pharmacists, PTs, DCs, MDs, holistic chefs and more). All the conference info is at http://www.nanp.org and you can read about our membership levels and wonderful benefits.

    I’ll connect with you offline after the hearing tomorrow …I’d love to chat
    Trudy

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  11. I wish I would have known about this earlier. My whole weekend is booked. I have been traveling all over the country to attend seminars on Integrative Medicine. I am sad to miss something local. I need to go to your website as I am planning on joining your group.
    Hopefully more RD’s will update their knowledge or just stick to allopathic medicine. Either way, people need options and practioners that can meet all their different health beliefs. Thanks for fighting the good fight!!!

    Eileen

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  12. Before spreading false information, you should learn what a registered dietitian’s job is entitled. ADA never proposed eliminate your profession. RDs are required at hospitals, schools and nursing homes. MNT is only practiced by RD. You should use your time and energy to fight against the real problem of our society: obesity and chronic diseases.

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    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Silvia – thanks for commenting. Unfortunately similar bills in other states have resulted in nutritionists not being allowed to work. This has just happened to a good friend and colleague in North Carolina. While I appreciate the work RDs do in hospitals, schools and nursing homes, I believe we all (RDs and nutritionists and other health professionals) should be allowed to contribute in the fight against obesity and chronic diseases. The more people teaching about the importance of real whole food the better!
    Trudy

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