While this case is about licensing, could this be a template for how to crack down on bloggers who say what the powers that be don’t want said? Blogging isn’t illegal, claiming to be an ‘expert’ without being licensed is. So, JCD, when will you be getting licensed to talk about politics?

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.

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.”

Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.
[…]
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.

Found by Brother Uncle Don



  1. spsffan says:

    I hope he goes to court and has the licensing board’s clock cleaned out but a no-nonsense judge with some balls.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

  2. McCullough says:

    Free speech is on it’s last legs.

  3. NewfornatSux says:

    You joke, Uncle Dave, but extending campaign finance law to the internet is a serious proposal. Already the FEC has required any website that spends at least $250 to register with them if they discuss candidates. It appears enforcement is lagging because they do not want to inflame the public, but that is the direction they are going.

  4. Sea Lawyer says:

    These types of regulations invariably begin as tools to protect trade groups from competition, and then are later spun as necessary to protect the public.

  5. Alex says:

    There are MD’s out there who have successfully reversed the symptoms of type 2 diabetes using a low carbohydrate diet.

    There is a lot of evidence that by reducing carb intake, the body can heal from the effects of a high carb, diabetes inducing diet.

    The NC board of dieticians is against this because the mainstream treatment of diabetes involves meds and the elimination of dieatary fats. Fat consumption does not cause diabetes. The more people realize that the mainstream treatments are a scam, the better.

    • denacron says:

      Take that back or the NC Board of Dietetics/Nutrition will send you to jail!

      Damn… that was legal advice. The DA in NC will be after me now for practicing law without a license!

  6. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Fun to carefully think about/appreciate just what kind of BS this is.

    Slippery Slope?? No.
    Unintended Consequences? No.
    Necessary Collateral Damages? No.
    Lack of good Statutory Interpretation? No.
    Nanny State being Over Protective? No.
    Anti-Free Speech? No.

    Hmmmm. Each of the above has “an element” that does apply to the issue but what is this issue in the main?

    How about: RICH = CRIMINAL? You can’t get more criminal than buying the legislature and having the laws orchestrated to your advantage to the disadvantage of “any” interest against your own.

    How many examples of this can we find today? RIAA, Food Slander, All of IP–eventually as Unc Dave fears/predicts to this very forum? Actually, hard to find a law that isn’t about the RICH funneling MORE MONEY from the poor to themselves.

    You know the poor? We gather here daily.

  7. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    From another blog:

    http://bestwebbuys.com/The-I-Hate-Corporate-America-Reader-How-Big-Companies-From-ISBN-9781560256359?isrc=-rd

    Two paragraph promo is even too much for me. I’ll skip this first step into insanity. Must be how Teapublicanism starts?

  8. msbpodcast says:

    The guy’s an idiot.

    There are ways to say far more damning things without ever getting saying anything which would be considered actionable by a court of law in the ‘States, (at least until they change the Constitution or the first amendent to make it illegal to open your mouth. [That’s next item on the agenda of the 1%. {The 12,400 really rich don’t care. They’re rich beyond what you can imagine and have other multi-generational concerns.}])

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Mpod–the point of the posting is that its not the guy thats an idiot but the NEW law.

      You don’t think people get prosecuted, fined, arrested, put in jail for doing various things without an appropriate license?

      Remember that big lawsuit Ophra was involved in? Just saying she wouldn’t eat hamburger?

      …..I got your freedom of speech right here!……

      • deowll says:

        So have you changed your mind about the importance of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution? You once thought they were unimportant.

  9. Marcus says:

    Wow, you guys, are you crazy? Do you know that your talking about this case could be seen as giving legal advise without a law degree? That is illegal in a lot of western country’s, so be a bit more careful in the future…

  10. Publius says:

    >Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice … nutrition” without a license.

    Fuck you NC

    Fuck you

    That is all

  11. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    If the content of the blog was spoken on the radio, a disclaimer stating that the blogger was not practicing medicine would probably suffice.

    What’s next? North Carolina authorities reviewing “fad diet” books. Federal health authorities don’t even do that.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Since when were blogs considered to be a source of professional experts?

    Taking advice from a blog (like here) is like taking advice from reading a public bulletin board or going to a bathroom and asking the guy in the stall next to you if he thinks he sees any polyps “in there.” I mean, just who the hell is the professional when all they do is blog on a web site?!

    If you want professional advice or professional help you go see the professional or have them come to you! That’s when you ask to see any credentials – not on some blog.

    What the hell are these idiots in public office smoking?

  13. NewfornatSux says:

    This is the effects of lots of regulation. California shot down a Craigslist type real estate listings page because they didn’t have a realtor license.

    As for free speech, this is nothing compared to campaign finance laws. Everytime you see an ad that says I’m XXXX and I support this message, it is a restriction on free speech.

  14. NewfornatSux says:

    City of Portland passed a mandatory fare minimum for limos and sedan services, and you’re not allowed to show up too quickly. They assessed a $500,000 fine for using GroupOn to give people a discount on services. It’s too much harmful competition for the taxi services.

  15. Somebody_Else says:

    Enforcing malpractice law is an attack on the freedom of speech?


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