Tag Archives: Steve Cooksley

Nutrition blogger sued by US state

26 Jul

Healthy recipes on the Web can put you in jail

Hello. Long time no raw food blog. I’ve been super busy but more importantly I had the fear of a lawsuit on my mind…Luckily not one aimed specifically at me but in January this year diabetes nutrition blogger Steve Cooksey was sued for claiming on his website Diabetes Warrior that the Paleo diet cured his diabetes.  Sued! What a joke!   In case you didn’t know – the Paleo diet is the caveman diet – fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. I don’t agree with this diet but that’s not the point. All of us should be able to blog about whatever we feel passionately about as long as we’re honest about our qualifications…

Steve describes the situation on his blog – In case you did not know… This blog and I are being investigated by the NC Board of Dietitians due to egads!!! I tell people to eat like I do!!!…without a license!!  Horrors!!!

Here’s my story if you don’t know it… I’m just a formerly obese, formerly insulin and drug dependent Type 2 Diabetic… who has normal blood sugar… and I’m drug and insulin FREE!

My source – the conspiracy theory obsessed but informative Natural News tells the story with no holds barred:

He’s being targeted by state “dieticians” (which is another word for “nutritional moron”) who say that Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition.” His website’s advocating of the Paleo diet for individuals who have health challenges is, they claim, a violation of law.

So they’ve threatened him with arrest if he does not take down his website… or at the very least stop advocating the Paleo diet to readers.

Health blogger Richard Nikoley of Freetheanimal.com tells us the good news that Steve-the-legend is fighting back.

He asked Steve’s lawyers: Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?

That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog (www.diabetes-warrior.net) to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics. The State Board also told Steve that his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends were illegal, as was his paid life-coaching service. The State Board went through Steve’s writings with a red pen, indicating what he may and may not say without a government-issued license.

But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.

That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. This lawsuit seeks to answer one of the most important unresolved questions in First Amendment law: When does the government’s power to license occupations trump free speech?

In my view everyone should be entitled to talk passionately about whatever they want to including the nutrition lifestyle that suits them. As long as the blogger is clear about their qualifications and perspective then who cares. It’s the responsibility of you the readers to take what you want out of it. The raw food diet for example works for me. My experience of eating enzyme rich live foods is extremely positive mentally, physically and even spiritually.  – I’m not eating raw 100% of the time – and when I’m not – I notice it and not in a good way.

Hence 2 things happened to me because of this:

I. took a blooging hiatus, and

2. I’ve signed up to study a diploma of nutrition at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, founded by guru Patrick Holford.

I’ll keep you posted on the story…and my course…