With our strident political campaign against monopolistic scope-of-practice laws, we have received several notes from Registered Dietitians (RDs) who feel that our opposition to bills promoted by their state and national associations has crossed over to become opposition to RDs themselves.
So, we would like to reaffirm our support for individual dietitians, most of whom do not support these laws.
First, there is no single RD who drafted HB1060 (or other bills and amendments) and is responsible for its content. In fact, as far was we know, the bill was drafted by the American Dietetic Association lobbyists in Washington, DC, and the rank-and-file RD's in Colorado were not ever consulted about it before it became news. It would be silly to hold any individual responsible for the acts of their trade organization.
Second, we have yet to speak to a single RD who has maintained their support for it after reading the full text of HB1060 (or other bills and amendments) and understanding the consequences of excluding so many professionals from providing nutrition services, . Plain and simple, it is a bad bill. What's worse, it was written in an intentionally misleading fashion that has tricked many professional political folks who read bills for a living. The "Exemptions" section in particular continues to confound readers, since retailers are listed as exempt. However, retailers are exempt only as long as they do not provide nutrition services in any form. In other words, they are not exempt at all. (If this were a private contract, the discrepancy between the section title and actual intent of the language would make that section unenforceable.) The complexity of the Bill's construction even fooled our longtime allies and friends at the Colorado Farmer's Union, who have publicly taken us to task for misrepresenting what the bill says. Nope, we know exactly what it says.
So please: read the bill. Don't take our word or anyone else's word about its intent. The law is not magic, it's just logic, and the average citizen is as capable as Supreme Court Justice to determine what a bill is trying to do.
Third, our beef is with the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the organization to which RD's pay dues and whose rules, policies, and requirements RDs must follow. Real RDs come from all walks of life, all educational backgrounds, all levels of degrees, and many different types of training and achievement beyond the minimum curriculum and practicum required by the the ADA. You can't make a single assumption about the approach, training, preferences, history or accomplishments of an individual RD based on those two letters after their name. It means something, yes, but it includes only a small part of their professional wherewithal. We posted a partly tongue-in-cheek blog called "We have good friends who are RDs" to make this point, but here we make it again. Vitamin Cottage has highly trained and highly respected RDs on staff, as customers, and as friends and colleagues. The idea that we would lump all RDs into one group and impeach their value based on the ADA's legislative agenda just doesn't hold water.
So we offer a blanket apology to any RD that has felt we have besmirched their professional accomplishments and their value to community. That is not our belief nor is it our intent. We would ask, however, that you speak to the leadership of your trade organization to suggest that they treat us, and other nutrition professionals, with the same care and respect you ask for yourselves.