You bet they are! Click title link to read the entire article written for Forbes.
Through a series of bills it is supporting and lobbying for, the nation’s professional association of dietitians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—generally known to the public by its old name, the American Dietetic Association—appears to be gaining legal control over who may provide nutrition counseling in a professional context. The effort also extends through a series of certification trademarks for which the Academy has recently applied.
This past January, the group, founded in 1917 and known for almost a century as the American Dietetic Association, announced it was changing its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (I use the old and new name equivalently in this article.)
Last December, before it announced its name change, the Association applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a series of certification marks, a type of trademark related to credentialing, for a comprehensive array of nutrition-related professional titles, including:
- Certified Nutrition Associate
- Certified Nutrition Coach
- Certified Nutrition Educator
- Certified Nutrition Manager
- Certified Nutrition Professional
- Registered Nutrition Associate
- Registered Nutrition Coach
- Registered Nutrition Educator
- Registered Nutrition Manager
- Registered Nutrition Professional
The certification mark applications, in conjunction with the name change, suggest that the Academy is attempting to expand its scope and influence, from its decades-old role as the industry group for Registered Dietitians (RDs, who often work in institutional settings such as schools and hospitals), to now touch upon the entire field and professional practice of nutrition.
More info from the Alliance for Natural Health
The ADA receives about $1 million a year in payments from pharmaceutical companies, and allows pharmaceutical companies to market their controversial products at ADA events. At the 2007 ADA Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, GlaxoSmithKline was allowed to promote their first over-the-counter diet pill, Alli, even though the drug’s weight loss effectiveness is minimal and side effects such as hard-to-control bowel movements and anal discharge are common. The FDA has since issued warnings to Alli, noting the possibly of severe liver damage, and consumer groups are asking the FDA to remove Alli from the market.
ADA also receives payments from Coca-Cola, Hershey, the National Dairy Council, Mars, PepsiCo, and others, though the organization won’t say exactly how much they receive from these candy and soft drink companies and industry associations. We have deep concerns about any organization having a monopoly on nutrition, but a junk-food-sponsored organization is even worse! The ADA already has a monopoly in many states and in many fields. Have you wondered why the food in hospitals is so poor and even a threat to people’s health? Yes, that is the result of ADA monopoly.