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Censorship Government Medicine The Media

North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger 515

vvaduva writes "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... the state diatetics and nutrition board decided [Steve] Cooksey's blog — Diabetes-Warrior.netviolated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to 'practicing nutrition,' the board's director says, and in North Carolina that's something you need a license to do." If applied consistently, I think this would also clear out considerable space from the average bookstore's health section. (And it could be worse; he could have been offering manicures.)
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North Carolina Threatens To Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

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  • good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:59AM (#39781941) Homepage Journal

    Lets bring this sort of thing to all the people that are effectively practicing medicine without a license.

  • Re:good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:10AM (#39782113) Homepage Journal

    Because they bilk, harm and kill people. Often with free reign.

    Children are dead because some unqualified person was lying about vaccine harm,
    People with diabetes are going to be a lot worse off because this guy is pretending to be an expert.

  • all for a FAQ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mounthood ( 993037 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:11AM (#39782121)

    They call a FAQ a 'assessing and counseling readers' because it answers questions. From the article:

    Where it crosses the line, Burill said, is when a blogger “advertises himself as an expert” and “takes information from someone such that he’s performing some sort of assessment and then giving it back with some sort of plan or diet.”

    Cooksey posted a link (6.3 MB PDF download) to the board’s review of his website. The document shows several Web pages the board took issue with, including a question-and-answer page, which the director had marked in red ink noting the places he was “assessing and counseling” readers of his blog.

    “If people are writing you with diabetic specific questions and you are responding, you are no longer just providing information — you are counseling,” she wrote. “You need a license to provide this service."

    The board also found fault with a page titled “My Meal Plan,” where Cooksey details what he eats daily.

    In red, Burril writes, “It is acceptable to provide just this information [his meal plan], but when you start recommending it directly to people you speak to or who write you, you are now providing diabetic counseling, which requires a license.”

    The board also directed Cooksey to remove a link offering one-on-one support, a personal-training type of service he offered for a small fee.

    Cooksey posts the following disclaimer at the bottom of every page on his website:

    “I am not a doctor, dietitian, nor nutritionist in fact I have no medical training of any kind.”

    The idea that only licensed people can discuss a subject that everyone is familiar with is like the freak flip-side to 'teach the controversy'; instead of forcing people to disseminate wrong information, they've decided that only government licensed counselors speak the truth.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:19AM (#39782235)

    >>>He was selling his services. Yes, he was practicing without a license. That's not blogging, that's not free speech.

    So if I help someone fix their computer over the phone, or via video chat, and then charge 1-2 hours for my time, I've commited a crime of practicing engineering without a license?!?!?

    God damn. You can't even open your mouth w/o tripping over some damn law & having the full weight of some government full upon you. Witness the poor UK citizen who is being drug out of his homeland into the Soviet Union of the USSA because he posted a link to piratebay and isohunt.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:31AM (#39782437)

    giving actual medical advice

    The problem is he's merely providing diet advice, which is not medical advice.

    Here is an example of a violation of the NC law (thank god I don't live there):

    "I advise you not to eat at McDonalds because a homemade salad is more nutritious than a cheeseburger".

    thats all it takes to be a criminal in NC.

    Its basically a blasphemy law, but applied to diet instead of gods.

  • by Peristaltic ( 650487 ) * on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @12:46PM (#39783627)

    ...but skipping surgery based on what some random dude on a blog says? C'mon, you're flirting with argumentum ad absurdum there.

    I would tend to agree with you, but on the other hand I've heard of people doing just that kind of thing. For instance, a neurologist friend of mine had recently been seeing an unusual number (5, over 3 weeks) of people being admitted for symptoms and signs resembling Myasthenia Gravis and MS in his rural hospital.

    After spending a fair amount of time investigating, turns out that these people sought out a "practitioner" in the community that injected them with fluid pulled from some ungodly mixture of ground up pig brains... never heard what it was they were trying to treat. The patients ended up with neurological autoimmune disorders and are not in very good shape. I'm not making this up, either- It took forever for doctors and authorities to figure out what happened, as the patients were concerned that the practitioner would be prosecuted, so were reluctant to talk.

    Then there's the recent case of an individual in Houston jailed for injecting some mixture (including caulk) into her customers' butt cheeks to plump up their rear ends.

    Take Steve Jobs- from what I read, had he undergone a pancreatic Whipple procedure immediately after his cancer diagnosis instead of waiting 10 months while first trying "naturopathic" remedies, he likely would have had more time in a better state of health before succumbing to his disease- not a sure thing, but it was the opinion of several doctors that worked on him that he would have been much better off avoiding the naturopathic approach as a first option. I can't fault someone trying -anything- as a last resort, after other, more proven options have failed, but to seek out naturopathy or homeopothy as a primary treatment?

    Never underestimate human stupidity.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming