Freedom of speech? Surely, you jest.
This man got diabetes. He started a blog on treating diabetes. He broke the law by doing this. He is not licensed to promote such opinions.
He promotes the so-called “paleo” diet: low carbohydrates. (The diet is not “paleo.” It’s capitalist. I have explained this here.)
He criticizes the establishment’s “carbs are OK’ Party Line. That called down the wrath of the government on him.
Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition” without a license. According to the law, “practicing” nutrition includes “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups” and “providing nutrition counseling.”
If he does not rewrite 3 years of posts, he must take down his site. If he refuses, and if he is convicted (after an expensive legal fight), he will go to jail.
When he was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” or “hunter-gatherer” diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.
But this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated 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.
Unless Cooksey completely rewrites his 3-year-old blog, he could be sued by the licensing board. If he loses the lawsuit and refuses to take down the blog, he could face up to 120 days in jail.
The board’s director says Cooksey has a First Amendment right to blog about his diet, but he can’t encourage others to adopt it unless the state has certified him as a dietitian or nutritionist.
Bloggers should understand this. They can offer self-testimony. They can link to other articles that report on health. But if they promote the information as recommendations, they are at risk. The establishment has passed laws against this.
Charla Burill, the board’s director, told Carolina Journal she could not discuss the details of Cooksey’s case because his website is still under investigation, but agreed to talk about the law in the hypothetical.
It’s not necessarily against the law to give your sister or your friend nutritional advice, she said. And it’s not necessarily against the law to use a blog to tell people what they should eat.
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.”
Did he advertise himself as an expert? I went to his site. Here is what I found.
1) I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist. I have ZERO medical training and NO formal nutritional training. However, I am a diabetic who follows his own “diabetic diet” (backed by scientific research) and has normal Blood Glucose while taking -0- drugs and -0- insulin.
2) Personal advice will not be given on this site. This site is ONLY intended for educational purposes ONLY. Providing people with the information on a “real” diabetes diet is my goal. Creating other Diabetes Warriors…is my desire!
3) Please consult your physician regarding any health guidelines seen in this site. IF YOUR doctor does NOT support information provided on this site, I urge you to find a “low carb friendly” doctor as soon as possible.
Please contact me if you are unable to locate one. Click HERE
What I Have Done
1) I have learned from top PhDs, MDs and Fitness experts … through their writings and opinions regarding legitimate mainstream medical studies.
2) I have confirmed many of their findings through my own personal experiences. I am a former obese diabetic who was taking 4 drugs and 4 insulin shots per day!… now… I’ve lost 75 lbs and I am DRUG AND INSULIN FREE!!! All this with normal Blood Sugar….not normal for diabetics….NORMAL Blood Sugar for non-diabetics.
This did not protect him.
Read the whole story. Click the link.
He must now either shut down his site or re-write the articles or be sued by the state of North Carolina.