Take Action North Dakota! Oppose Dietitian Nutritionist Licensing bill, SB 2187, to Protect Free Speech and Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners Now!
SB 2187 is seeking to amend ND’s current Dietitian and Nutritionist licensing law which would restrict the ability of consumers to access the nutrition practitioners of their choice and limit many practitioners’ freedom of speech. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Human Services Committee on Monday, January 25, at 10am.Please Take Action hereto ask your state legislators to oppose SB 2187 and Submit Opposition Testimony to the committee here. The deadline to submit testimony for this public hearing is 8:00 AM, January 25, 2021.
Our colleagues on the ground in North Dakota tell us that SB 2187 requires a strong showing of opposition to stop its passage. On it’s face, the bill seems favorable because it is liberating more nutritionists to be able to get licensed and practice and it contains some exemption language for non-licensed practitioners. However, SB 2187 is still problematic.
The two broad exemptions in SB 2187 (page 18, lines 3-15) still link back to the definition of “medical nutrition therapy” which is very broadly defined and prohibited from practicing. Also, SB 2187 seeks to prohibit use of the term “nutritionist” “nutritional therapy practitioner” or “nutritional therapy consultant” from the public domain. Banning the use of these terms is overly restrictive. Exclusive titles should only be limited to the titles that use the state qualifier “licensed” and other terms should remain in the public domain.
Additionally, SB 2187 seeks to medicalize weight loss in an extreme way that restricts access to thousands of practitioners and their freedom of speech. If the bill passes, anyone who helps someone to gain, maintain, or lose weight, by any means, is considered practicing medical nutrition therapy. We don’t need to medicalize weight loss any more than it already is, there are many providers from gym trainers to staff at commercial weight loss chains, such as Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, that help with this. Consumers want access to these services. Dietitians should not get a monopoly on weight control. Read the bill here.
Help prevent SB 2187 from becoming law by Taking Action here and Submitting Public Testimony here. You may choose to provide written testimony only or you may choose to provide written testimony and join a virtual meeting to provide your oral testimony.