On the heels of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—two well-publicized national bills where government arguably went too far—comes a state bill, HB 1060, that would ensure only dietitians can practice medical nutrition in Colorado.
According to opponents, this bill would effectively create a monopoly, where registered dietitians (RDs) would be the only option for nutrition health. If passed, anyone who holds themselves out as a nutritionist, naturopath, fitness trainer, complementary doctor, chiropractor, etc., would no longer be able to provide medical nutritional services as part of their practice.
Proponents believe the bill is integral to the safety of the public as it seeks out nutritional services and advice.
First, a little background. HB 1060 originated with the American Dietetic Association, which is promoting new licensure bills in Indiana, New Jersey and West Virginia, in addition to Colorado.
Here is a short excerpt from what was sent to local RDs by the Colorado Dietetic Association:
HB 1060 creates state licensure for Colorado Dietitians. The bill will title protect the word dietitian and licensed dietitian. To receive licensure an applicant must be an RD already or meet the educational, supervised practice standards and pass the RD exam as defined by the Commission of Dietetic Registration. The bill defines dietetics, medical nutrition therapy, and the nutrition care process. The bill also defines the scope of practice as the practice of dietetics including medical nutrition therapy and the nutrition care process. The bill provides exemptions for individuals and retailers and others who provide non-medical nutrition information or services as well as some dietitians who are not practicing in a clinical setting. Dietitians from another state with similar requirements may be licensed by endorsement. To read the bill click here.
Now, it’s true that in Colorado pretty much anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, for example, and they don’t need a set amount of experience, education or training to do so. This obviously poses potential dangers to consumers.
But under this bill it appears that a legitimate nutritionist, who might be 15 years into a successful practice and who has a PhD in nutrition, would no longer be able to provide medical nutrition therapy since they are not a registered dietitian.
While something does need to be done to clarify the nutrition landscape in Colorado, should a monopoly by RDs be the answer?
We have provided information for your state representatives below if you would like to make your voice heard on this issue.
Colorado House Agricultural Members
Jerry Sonnenberg, 303.866.3706, firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Fischer, 303.866.2917, email@example.com
Randy Baumgardner, 303.866.2949, firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Paul Brown, 303.866.2914, email@example.com
Don Coram, 303.866.2955, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Jones, 303.866.2920, email@example.com
Marsha A. Looper, 303.866.2946, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wes McKinley, 303.866.2398, email@example.com
Su Ryden, 303.866.2942, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Scott, 303.866.3068, email@example.com
Glenn Vaad, 303.866.2943, firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Vigil, 303.866.2916, email@example.com
Roger Wilson, 303.866.2945, firstname.lastname@example.org