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.
Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition” without a license. According to the law, “practicing” nutrition includes “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups” and “providing nutrition counseling.”
Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.
But get this:
It’s a fine line between what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to talking about nutrition.
“Anyone can talk about anything they want,” Burill said. “That’s a First Amendment right, so to speak.”
For example, a person could write a blog advocating vegetarianism, she said.
“Now if you advertised that you’d taken classes in nutrition, you’ve worked at [the federal government’s Food and Nutrition Service] for three years, and you say ‘I believe everyone should be a vegetarian, and I’m here to help you if you want to change your diet’ [that could be crossing the line],” Burill said.
“A vegetarian diet would be a little bit harder [to prosecute] because a vegetarian is not really like a medical diet.”
Revealing… Figures they don’t mind people promoting vegetarianism, but anyone encouraging low-carb and protein-rich diets is more likely to get harassed, like this blogger…