Steve Cooksey, more commonly known as the Diabetes Warrior on his blog, has written about his TRIUMPH over diabetes and his journey into Superhuman health for over the past two years now.
I first learned about Steve through an interview on Jimmy Moore’s Livin La Vida Lo Carb podcast. I have followed Steve’s posts and he is very helpful to all those looking to make positive health changes. Since I do very much the same thing, I have some very colorful feelings about his lawsuit and (WARNING) this post does turn into a rant below.
If you’ve already heard of Mr. Cooksey, it’s most likely due to the case launched against him and his website for giving dietary advice without a license in the state of North Carolina. The complaint was brought against him by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN).
The story of how he came to be investigated for giving advice is pretty interesting. At a nutritional seminar on January 12th, 2012, Steve was listening to the same, very much wrong and dangerous advice he’d heard before, now being given to diabetics once again. He spoke up and gave them a piece of his mind and he described the atmosphere as getting a little heated. He has an extra sensitive spot with the subject because not only was he a diabetic but his grandmother passed away due to diabetic complications.
He handed out some cards for his website after the seminar. The next day he received a phone call from the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition citing the possible laws he was breaking by giving dietary advice without a license. The NCBDN says they were only investigating a written formal complaint they received from someone that day. Steve suspects he knows who from the seminar filed the complaint but that wasn’t the point. He was taken back that his free speech was being attacked like this.
Steve was given specific details to change about his site and consulting business in order to come in compliance with what the NCBDN desired, and on April 9th, 2012, they sent a certified letter to Steve saying he had fulfilled the obligations they had set forth and had come into “substantial compliance.”
Substantial compliance is all good in Steve’s mind, but he wants to use this story for some positive change. He feels like his rights were violated and he is now filing a lawsuit against the NCBDN based on his right to Free Speech. I can’t speak for Steve directly, but I know he would like to leverage this publicity to get the truths about diabetes out there so he can help more and more people (and here I am trying to help him do just that.)
I decided to visit the NCBDN website to see what they had to say. I always think it’s fair to hear out both sides of a story first and it even turns out they have a page dedicated to this recent controversy. And after reading their page, I’m still fully, 100% behind Steve and his lawsuit.
Since I only know legal jargon from what I’ve seen in “Suits” and a couple episodes of “Franklin & Bash”, I don’t know what kind of strength Steve’s lawsuit actually holds. I just know the absurdity behind the NCBDN’s actions and how much it pisses me off that a government agency that not only doesn’t know what they are talking about, wants to shush others up who actually have some real, working solutions.
Steve was recommending a diet plan and such to readers of his website for free and for a price to clients who chose to pay for extra services. He was using his own experience as a base for teaching others how to accomplish the same. If you want to read a post by Steve, please check out a more recent one titled “How do Nurtionists Sleep at Night, I’ll tell ya.”
The free speech thing pisses me off but I have four really important points that just light a fire under my ass! (so excuse my language)
Steve didn’t FORCE anyone to read his advice. He didn’t FORCE anyone to pay for his services that his clients viewed as valuable. People have their own brains and can make decisions whether to listen or not for themselves!!! We not only should have the freedom of speech, but we should have the freedom to listen!!!
Steve’s recommendations were based on what WORKED!!! Why is WORKED in BIG letters? Because NOTHING the FDA (Food/Drug) or ADA (Diabetes) or AHA (Heart) or CDC (Disease) recommends EVER F*CKING WORKS!!! This is why 90% of people trying to beat diabetes FAIL!!! If Steve knows what actually works he is decades ahead of you NCBDN. Time to step up your game NCBDN and work with the knowledge and facts that are out there, instead of trying to silence them!
Where does this madness freakin end? Should I stop every juicehead in the gym who’s ever tried to give me advice on a move they think I might find useful. “Stop right there, do you have a license to teach me juicehead moves like that?” Or what about parenting advice or finance advice or dog advice? Since when does every little piece of simple advice have to come with a government stamp of approval?!?!
People should have freedom to give whatever advice they feel can help others. If people want “NCBDN certified” or whatever freaking crap next to their name for some kind of validation, let them come to you and freakin get it. Personally, I see the validation in Steve himself. He has SAVED HIS OWN LIFE, so let him tell people how to save theirs!!!
One last point to the NCBDN:
You know what’s sad NCBDN? Is that people unfamiliar with the headline of Steve Suing the NCBDN would actually first think that you were being sued for the WRONG advice you promote by allowing your dietetics to cheer lead a diet plan that is PRO-diabetes! And maybe you should be sued for this first and foremost!!!
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietetic with any state/federal agency. I believe they promote wrong advice and it would go against my own ethics to be associated with them at all whatsoever.
Here’s a fun little video by the Institute for Justice that is helping Steve with the lawsuit
photo source:Steve’s blog