Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is the American Dietetics Association Overreaching?

Should consumers be limited to nutrition information coming from the ADA - an organization funded by food and beverage manufacturers?  Michael Ellsberg writing for Forbes magazine reports on current activities of the ADA.
He asks the question, “Should consumers have access to a wide array of different nutrition counseling choices/philosophies, among a wide array of professionals with differing credentials, or should the American Dietetics Association have strong legally-enforced say in who may or may not compete with the specific group of nutrition professionals it represents?”
You can read the entire article here.
In response to the activities of the ADA, the Alliance for Natural Health USA has created a site called ReallyEatRight.org, which is monitoring the ADA’s activities and supports the following position.
“The practice of dietetics is one of the many different modalities of nutritional therapy. Dietitians—and particularly the Commission on Dietetic Registration—should respect and compete with other nutrition professions and licensing bodies in the marketplace, and should not subvert competition by creating a government-sanctioned monopoly through legislation.”
Members of the ADA are voicing their discomfort with the ADA's willingness to enter into partnerships with any food company or trade organization, regardless of the nutritional quality of its products. Can  companies buy legitimacy with an ADA sponsorship?
RD Andy Bellati writing in the Chicago Tribune said the following, “I feel embarrassed and insulted by these partnerships,” Andy, said in an email. “These sorts of unions (which give unwarranted legitimacy to Coke, PepsiCo, and Hershey's nutrition messaging) drag the credential through the mud.”
(See full article here.)
The ADA is not transparent about its finances (Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), has asked the ADA for a listing of their payments from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and insurance industries,) and it would be helpful to know how much the food companies are paying the ADA for legitimacy.  Our children are bloating on soda and junk food and developing obesity related diseases. Then the ADA licensed RDs come in with recommendations for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. As Anthony Bourdain said recently, “It’s like breaking someone’s leg and then profiting by selling them a crutch.”
Take action and voice your opinion on the Really Eat Right website