I Received a Letter from the NC Board of Nutrition and Dietitians 58


I received a letter from the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutritionists stating that I am in ‘substantial compliance’ with NC Law.  The letter was dated April 9, 2012 and I received it April 20, 2012.  If this is new to you, click here for the investigation post.

In January, the state board opened an investigation into my blog and told me to stop advising people through my blog postings, publicly or in private. No matter if it was for compensation or for free. Essentially, the board told me that not only could I not charge people to talk about diet, I could not talk to my friends about diet.

The board made it clear that talking about diet without a license is a crime and they could take me to court.

In response to this investigation, I did three things:

1) stopped doing my published advice column.

2) took down my diabetes support package links.

3) and made my disclaimer more prominent. Additionally, I added a disclaimer at the bottom of every page.

Because I complied with their order to stop speaking and to change what I say and what I publish, the board concluded that I am in substantial compliance and closed the investigation.

 

All this means is that the board has violated my First Amendment rights by silencing me and altering how I express my opinions.

My compliance is compliance with their violation of my rights, not an agreement between us that I was wrong and they were right.

The letter actually threatens to keep monitoring me.

I have absolutely no intention of complying with the board’s violation of my free speech rights. I intend to defend those rights, not only for myself, but for everyone.

This is America and in America people should be free to give each other advice about things like diet.

This isn’t the end of the fight, this is not over.

It’s just the end of round one.

THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL OF THE SUPPORT!!!  … I will not back down and I will not waiver!

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58 thoughts on “I Received a Letter from the NC Board of Nutrition and Dietitians

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Good advice indeed Mike. I take daily walks (with my dog) but you hit on something that I need to do. I have thought about walking or riding a bike more, especially for errands near my home. I need to commit to doing that. Thanks!

  • siann

    You should thank them. I would never have known about your site until I read that they tried to shut you down for blogging your experiences. Now, I know you’re here.

    Makes you wonder what is actually driving them, doesn’t it? :) Especially in light of a rather remarkable number of other interestingly related actions that are happening. A small part of me still hopes that it’s just intellectual laziness, willful ignorance and greed.

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Very true siann. I’ve said that I did not ask for the investigation but once involved I see it as a great opportunity to show others the attempt to ‘own’ nutritional speech (by preventing free speech) and to highlight a ‘better way’ to treat diabetes and other diseases.

  • faceinthecrowd

    Hey Steve – I’ve been having a conversation with others about your issues…in light of practicing what I preach – helping out instead of adding to the noise like so many others seem to be doing around this:

    - Have you had a chance to look at the exceptions to the NC dietitian licensing statutes? There appear to be ways to frame up your message appropriately…talk to your lawyer, and these should become apparent. http://bit.ly/IHy38k

    - find a licensed dietitian who agrees with you (I’d be shocked if this person didn’t exist). Your blog is widely read, and a dietitian in the Paleo/low carb camp would only benefit from the publicity he/she would gain by partnering with you, and the Paleo movement would only gain momentum.

    - Please ask the bloggers circling your situation to be more constructive. I sympathize with your plight, but bloggers like this (http://bit.ly/IjnA33) simply making a non-constructive emotional call and not providing any sort of realistic solution are worse than not helpful…it makes the Paleo community look bad. The ‘ask’ to contact the NC board to tell them to leave you alone and pissing off the same bureaucrats that you’re dealing with isn’t making this any easier on you.

    • PukinDog

      Hey Face in the Crowd, I think you must be a plant or something if you think that argument “makes people look bad” as you say. Nice try, but for some reason, I think you might be that guy running around doing all they can to silence Mr.Cooksey and make the case go away. How about you speak for yourself and let others decide how they feel about what is going on? Sheesh.

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Great point Martin. :) We went out to eat recently to a new restaurant. I told the waitress that I was diabetic and asked her for suggestions… every thing was low calorie, low fat … or both.

      I just grinned, thanked her and purchased a grilled chicken salad.

  • frogholler

    Maybe if you get a hold of Mr. John Whitehead at http://www.rutherford.org, he can help you. John has been fighting for our freedoms for a number of years now. Check him out. I read about you in Mike’s Natural News yesterday. It is so scary that our freedoms are being taken away so fast now. I was kicked off a forum about lung health for mentioning a class I attended in Ohio for breathing a certain way.You have my full support.

  • Jesse Chavez

    A few months ago I searched the internet for information on coconut oil. I found a site that had a link to the TED video: TEDxIowaCity – Dr. Terry Wahls – Minding Your Mitochondria

    I was not even looking for anything specifically related to my T2 diabetes. After watching the video I realized how right she is about the healing power of food. I bought the Loren Cordain book and began the Paleo diet. In less than to months, my blood sugars became normal, and I was able to get off my diabetes meds. I also was able to get off my blood pressure meds. My most recent AC1 was 5.9, having been 6.7 in the past. I have lost that “puffy” look that many middle aged men get. People say I look younger and my skin is looking better. I to take some supplements as well. I will never go back to my old eating habits. This is a lifestyle for me – not just a diet. I am 57 years old and a life-long skeptic. This was a giant leap for me, and I could not be any happier!

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Congrats Jesse!!! … congrats for …
      1) Seeking a better way.
      2) Finding it …
      3) Doing it!!! :)

      I loved this… “I could not be any happier!”. I do SO agree and I would not go back to the ‘old me’ …for anything. :)

  • steel0906

    Steve, I agree with faceinthecrowd. I’ve worked as a paralegal for many years, but in New York, not North Carolina, so I’m not familiar with the laws in your state. While you battle your 1st Amendment right to free speech, I would definitely look at partnering with a licensed paleo nutritionist in order to satisfy/circumvent the NC Board. As much I can see the potential benefit long term of having people support you with the board, even emotionally; short-term you need to work with your lawyer to find a way to continue your blog legally until such time as you potentially win your case. Your case is far too important because of its long reaching implications. The internet is filled with people giving and sharing advice…on illness-related sites, parenting sites, and blogs from people who deal with specialized issues like parents of autistic children, etc.

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Thank you Steel… I will continue to publish my information.. one way or another. I do want to fight this on the merits of the case. But if push comes to shove I will take alternative routes to continue to educate, motivate and entertain. Again… thank you. :)

  • PukinDog

    Steve Cooksey, you just hang in there, and let this matter run its course. They came after you, not the other way around. Glad to see you coming out ahead in this.

  • djk

    The medical monopoly Nazis can be a real problem, I have been ‘fired’ by four doctors and one of the only two health care ‘networks’ in the area.

    There is no recourse, and I can’t pay the high bribes to Congress like they do.

    My current doctor was chosen for not being affiliated with either network, but has recently become affiliated, and is now pressuring me to take drugs and submit to more test procedures.

    Any suggestions for when I become banned from all health-care providers?

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      I would start a blog… :) Seriously, tell others what you are doing. I’d sign up on Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter. Tell others what you are doing, there could me doctorsi/homeopaths in your area that agree with what you do… could be. I freely admit to be ignorant on this topic but i do wish you all the best.

  • PaleoDietNews

    Steve,

    You speak for all of us Paleo bloggers (and any other nutrition blogger who goes against the status quo). I know many of us are pissed as hell about this and support you wholeheartedly. It’s probably too much to hope for that they will leave you alone, especially when you exercise your constitutional rights. Sometimes I wonder about this for all of us. Are we now that dangerous to those who would keep us sick? I just posted an article about this very topic:

    http://paleodietnews.com/5467/paleo-diet-nutritional-blogs-are-we-dangerous/

    I know we are. Anyone who wakes up to what has been done and is being done is a danger. I will be watching this keenly.
    Cheers
    Lila

  • Martin Levac

    Steve, to support your own personal experience when talking about how you deal with diabetes, why don’t you use a few select pieces of genuine science? You don’t even have to make a recommendation, just citing it would be enough and it wouldn’t constitute an “advice”. Your readers would surely want to read stuff like that. Even if I’m not diabetic, I want to read stuff like that. Try this one for starters:

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/64
    (found it through Dr Jay Wortman’s blog in one of Richard Feinman’s comments)

    Here’s an idea. Instead of selling your “advice” services, sell your “research” services. You do the research into diets for diabetes. You don’t need a license to be a nutrition researcher in NC, do you? There’s more than one road that leads to Rome.

  • ggarden

    Thank you. Can’t thank you enough. For educating me. For standing up for your rights to freedom of speech, which helps protect us all. When I was a kid I saw the KKK march in the streets. I asked, “Why are they allowed to march like that? They should be stopped.” I was told by a recent WWII vet, “This is America. We may not agree with them, but we protect their right to freedom of speech. We protect their right to an opinion. And I will fight to protect that right. Because if we protect their right to speak, then we protect all our rights, if at some point we want to speak.” I saw police out there protecting them, as they marched.

    It is so hard for me to comprehend that the right to just give your opinion, give your experiences, with bold disclaimers is being threatened. To give your opinion on something that actually helped you and may help others is being threatened. I just don’t know what is happening to our government, where they can take over like that. And deny the foundation upon which our country was built. And deny me the right to use my own mind and decide for myself. To deny my freedom to choose.

    Thank you for your bravery, and for standing up for your (and all of our) rights. I’m really glad you found a way to work with the system, protect yourself, and keep going. I just wish I could see police out there protecting you, as you march.

  • pneumatik

    Hey do me a favor and send them guys another thank you for violating your civil rights, you know that one thing I think they call the constitution? Tell them thanks for yet another fan! If freedom of speech makes you a criminal I’m the God Damn anti-Christ!

    Pharmaceutical companies got everybody in their pockets other than the banks and if you go slowing down their business you’d better watch out.

    What’s better, sitting in your home popping pills that only mask the issue and knowing you are a free man?
    Or taking something you know damn well will cure the problems, paying a fraction of the cost to do so, keeping your beliefs and dignity, saving the world one person at a time and perhaps, maybe, you could end up in jail?

    Well I already know your answer Steve because I am commenting on your blog right this moment! HAH! Thanks for the free traffic assholes! Freedom isn’t free and it never was, at least we know your one more American willing to pay the cost of freedom. This is our country and we make the rules, they are the ones confused.

    Keep fighting the good fight buddy. :-)
    May you be blessed for your efforts and beliefs, I do hope so myself.

    please check out my site, I think you will enjoy it very much…
    http://stepintoorganics.com/home/organic-news-articles/kashi-scams-organic-health-foods-consumers

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      penumatik, … it’s funny you mention the ‘thank you’. I did send the lady who originally complained about me an email thanking her. She attempted to shut me up… when in fact she has helped me spread the message! :)

      Just glancing at your site… looks great. The internet is such an awesome communication tool, keep on fighting!

  • tinaspharm

    You are giving out great information and you make it clear that you are not a health professional – where is the problem?! As a health care professional myself, I understand that sometimes the advice of a patient who went through an experience can be more beneficial than advice I can give! Dieticians are sometimes taught misinformation – that artificial sweeteners or low fat diets are healthy, for example. Your information is more progressive than information coming from some dieticians that I know – keep up the good work! Thank you for standing up for your right to free speech!!

  • Paulcito

    Hello Steve! I just discovered your blog and the threats you have run into, via NaturalNews.com. Congrats for a great blog! I’m not really a paleo eater myself but have been into natural health and healing for many years now. My own approach is largely vegetarian, rawfoodist and superfoods, but definitely not vegan (I’ve done raw vegan for a few months at a time here and there). Although low-glycemic raw veganism can control or eliminate diabetes as well and usually succeeds in doing so, medium and long term pitfalls for many or most (not all) vegans are well-known, and I see as I have read so many persona stories over the years, once again they are shown here on your blog as well.

    Personally I appreciate so much of the work done by David “Avocado” Wolfe. David is pretty well-known in the natural nutrition space, but as a raw-foodist and non-meat eater, and someone who does sell a lot of products, he is someone who I feel is often misunderstood as merely a faddist self-promoter. When David he connected recently with Dr. Mercola it really got my attention in a positive way. To me even those who feel they benefit from eating paleo or non-vegan can actually learn from Avocado as well and his deep explorations into the many things he does and why. His recognition and lack of denial as to the problems that vegans often do run into speaks a lot as well. There is so much great stuff out there like Shilajit as one example, that David teaches about and recommends, that can support improved health and energy of anyone, whether they are eating vegan, paleo, or any other variation of more natural diet, but may not be too well known as of yet.

    In any case, indeed there is “trouble” lurking for those who are active in this area – yes, we are dangerous to the System! I’ve already suffered slings and arrows myself – I had a personal health and healing web site up years back to support people detoxing and healing from mercury-amalgam related diseases and other conditions. The site lapsed but I never wavered in my nutritional beliefs and practices, I had just gotten a little fatigued from pushing them so much on people. But here I am getting more active publicly again, mostly posting on Facebook. All the best to you Steve! Together we have to stand tall and not back down. And hopefully all of the professionals in the natural nutrition space, for all of their significant differences, will continue to come together in support of health and healing not only in the US but worldwide!

    Paul Reynolds
    http://www.facebook.com/PaulPaulcitoReynolds

    PS If you ever were to make it here to Lima, Peru you would probably find ceviche (raw deep-sea fish cooked in lemon juice) to be a deliciously healthy staple. This is basically the one non-vegan food I rely on here. The undamaged protein and fats, and the satiating quality of this food makes it a big key for me.

  • bowie76230

    Yeah, I agree with half the people here. If it were not for the NC health commission, I too would not have found you! Also, it helped that you were on Coast to Coast AM last nite! Good Show!

    I have been saying stuff about my diet on my blog at http://www.bowierocks.com. I am a type II and it is this HFCS, corn syrup, chemicals, over hybridized products etc that are making us all sick!

    Too much to say in a comment, but you are dead on accurate!

  • Esso

    Steve, I also learned of your site by news articles posted on a libertarian news forum called Freedom4um. These attacks on your website seem to have actually led a lot of people to you.

    I think we’re gonna have to get you fitted for a cape pretty soon, SuperSteve! ;)

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Esso, ha! :) … I’ve said I did not seek out the investigation… but once it happened, I saw the opportunity to shed light where there was almost NONE!

      Type 1 diabetes is a totally different animal… but type 2 if detected early is simple to treat, so simple… a caveman can do it. :)

  • Bryan

    Steve,

    It looks like you have provided more help in such a little time than the NC Government has been able to provide in so many years. It’s complacency that they have proven to show that has adversely effected others. Why they would not think a clean diet would help is beyond my comprehension.

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Thanks Bryan. I know… why is ‘just eat real food’ a threat? … why is giving common sense advice “reduce carbs to normalize blood sugar” against the law?

      It’s $$$, big corporations pay the disease protocol groups and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics big money … and they need to see a solid ROI on their ‘investment’.

  • rjsciolino

    My email message to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition:

    With regard to your threats toward Steve Cooksey (http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/2012/04/27/letter/), you should be aware that I myself, along with many other people who believe in individual liberty and freedom of speech will continue to post and link to every single article on Steve’s website as well as copy and paste everyone of his communications, indeed adding information as well. I only wish I lived in North Carolina so you could try and come after me as well.
    If a diabetic who nned s counseling on their condition freely wants to glean information, I have some news for you….its called “Google” and they can get the same facts that Steve supplies and there is nothing you can do about it. The fact that he condenses the research time and allows a more convenient way of doing it is moot. Not only that but your attempts to suprress it are absurd, especially with the added attention he has recieved.
    Your “nanny-state” misguided compassion is tyranny whether you realize it or not and it is “waisted breath”. You cannot unring a bell and the bell has been clearly rung in this case. Nice try but you’re going to have to shut down the internet as well as “Google” rather than going after Cooksey. And if your plan is to make an example out of him, you have succeeded because I will gladly take up his cause if you throw him in jail or sue him into bankruptcy with lawyer and court fees. And guess what?
    I’m not alone.
    So please, continue your tyrannical journey, I beg you!

    -Robert J. Sciolino
    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”-Benjamin Franklin

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Thank you very much Robert. Their pathetic attempt at silencing me has done more to spread the word than I ever could have done otherwise…

      So to your request for them to continue their tyrannical journey… I agree! Bring it on! :)

  • dbmcneill

    Sent in email this morning to NC Board of Nutrition and Dietitians on reading the Heritage Blog concerning your plight, Steve:

    I read with interest, as I do every day, most blog posts from the Heritage Foundation. In a post today, http://blog.heritage.org/2012/05/08/north-carolina-stuck-in-the-stone-age/, your organization is implicated for violating a citizen’s First Amendment rights. As a person who has and continues to battle the sedentary lifestyle imposed on me by my basically insane work/life schedule, along the same lines as Mr Steve Cooksey is waging the same battle, and as a person who values freedom of expression that does not infringe on others’ rights to the same freedom of expression, my evaluation of your intrusion into Mr Cooksey’s excellent efforts is that you have gone too far. Learn your place in a free American society. You have no standing to be making comments or giving direction on another person’s well-considered and thoughtfully prepared and presented life experiences. I strongly commend you to issue a formal, written apology to Mr. Cooksey, withdraw all allegations that you might be making against Mr. Cooksey, and then mind your own business thenceforward.

    Very sincerely,

    David B McNeill
    Lifelong resident and voter in North Carolina

  • mopaditi

    I’m new to your blog so I don’t know if you have any article on actions we can take to support your fight. Perhaps we could each write to the powers that be in NC and express our outrage?

    • Steve Cooksey Post author

      Adam, Sincere thanks for the comment and the gracious offer to support. At this point the state is claiming that I am in ‘substantial compliance’ (whatever that means) and have, at this time dropped the complaint. The dropping of the complaint I’m sure was in large part due to the outpouring of support.

      I do feel my freedom of speech has been infringed and I am looking into other options. I guess what I am saying is, there may be a time in the future where actions of support may be more useful. Thank you again sir.

  • deko

    I think we all owe Steven Cooksey a hearty “thank you” for this website. I discovered diabetes-warrior.net after the morons at the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition started harassing Mr. Cooksey. I read about it on the Internet after the media picked up the story.

    It’s really pathetic that our government agencies are so out of control. It’s obvious they are protecting the Diabetes Industry at the expense of people’s lives. It reminds me of what the FDA tried to do to Stanislaw Burzynski in Texas.

    I appreciate your candid advice and will continue to read your site and tell others about it.

  • mjpar

    Mr. Cooksey,

    I assume you are not operating or maintaining your page from NC. If you are not, then it seems that NC simply needs to ban your page and block internet access in the state. This banning worked so well in Syria, Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Libya…

    If you do live in NC… well, since there is no way to operate a page IN the Ethernet… I recommend NC try plan A listed above. For you, though, I imagine that is where one of the loop-holes may reside: Is your page intellectual property (is Plato responsible for the dumb things I do?) and is there any law that addresses where that resides; how it is controlled?
    My opinion is likely not worth anything, but maybe that fresh perspective will help your case. The last few comments are very vague, but I hope it gives some azimuth to the legal wanderings. I fear to say to much, though. I am not a lawyer or nutritionist in the state of North Carolina. Contemplate my philosophy at your own peril.

    Sir, I would like to see you continue your advice column, but understand the compliance. The last blog I read stated you were working with a pro-bono lawyer. How is that progressing? My wife, mother-in-law (North Carolinians) and I support you and wish you luck.

    MJP

  • samnoz

    Its a ridiculous piece of law. Back in the 40′s smoking was seen as a weight loss aid, and so telling people not to smoke would have violated this law. Now we know that smoking is dangerous for your health, but the entire law seems based on the belief that the nutritionist know what is best for you.
    Also, it says the people will be seen to be in compliance as long as they dont claim to be a nutrionist or dietician. So far as I know you havn’t said youre a nutrionist or dietician, so if it came down to it in a court youd be fine.

  • pone1

    It’s a clear violation of first amendment, which the supreme court has applied to the states.

    I hate the way that big government is starting to exercise mind control over every aspect of healthcare. Just consider how the FDA used a single manufacturing plant’s defects in making L-Tryptophan as an excuse to remove the supplement from the market and regulate it. For 10 YEARS – from 1991 to 2001 – the FDA overstepped its authority and denied people the right to buy this substance claiming that it was “unsafe”.

    Have you contacted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to see if they are interested in representing you pro bono?

  • cw

    AH! I see on your meal plan page that you are recommending exactly that!!! Kudos. I’m going to try this out. I’m not diabetic, but I’m getting that puffy thing going on I think. I do have high BP and cholesterol. I’ve done Atkins before and had good success but had too much other stuff going on to keep it up.

    If it works I’ll send the NC board a thank you note.