Originally published June 8 2012
Nutrition blogger files lawsuit against North Carolina for violation of free speech rights
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A North Carolina man who was told by the state-run North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN) to stop giving online dietary advice to diabetics via his personal blog has filed a federal lawsuit against the group for violating his free speech rights.
As we reported previously, Steven Cooksey, a former diabetic, abandoned conventional wisdom concerning diabetes after watching it fail him and land him in the hospital, and instead chose to take an alternative route. This included adopting a so-called "Paleolithic" diet that is high in fats, low in carbohydrates, devoid of grains, and completely contrary to the establishment medical system's views about what diabetics should eat.
After experiencing incredible success with this new Paleolithic method, which contradicted everything his doctors had told him concerning diet for his "incurable" condition, Cooksey decided to create a website called "Diabetes Warrior" to help other diabetics achieve similar success through this unique dietary approach.
You can view Cooksey's website here:
Things for Cooksey turned sour, however, when he butted heads with the director of diabetic services at a local hospital during a nutrition seminar. During the question and answer portion of the presentation, Cooksey challenged the director's views, who just so happened to be dispensing dietary information that directly opposed Cooksey's Paleolithic approach, with his own personal experience and dietary approach.
Just three days after questioning the director about her views that diabetics should eat a diet rich in whole-grain carbohydrates and low in fat, Cooksey says he received a call from Charla Mae Burill, director of NCBDN, saying that someone at the seminar filed a complaint against him. This individual, who appears to have been Burill, also accused Cooksey of playing the role of a dietitian without being licensed by the state.
NCBDN then proceeded to aggressively comb Cooksey's website, going line by line and identifying what it believed to be violations of state law. The group then ordered him to stop dispensing nutritional advice without a license, which included selling his nutritional coaching services, and to completely restructure his site, or else be forced to take it down.
Cooksey refuses to bow down to state, files lawsuit against NCBDNCooksey, however, never claimed to be a registered dietitian, and detailed plainly on his website that he was not officially certified. His readers, in others words, were fully aware that the information presented simply reflected his own personal experience, which led to a complete reversal of his diabetic condition, and his significant loss of roughly 78 pounds.
"When did it become illegal to tell people to eat meats and vegetables?" asked Cooksey in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "How is it illegal to tell people not to eat grains? We're talking about healthy eating. This is wrong."
In response to North Carolina's attempted violations of his free speech rights, Cooksey has filed a federal lawsuit. NCBDN and several of its board members are reportedly named as defendants in the case, which continues to receive national attention.
Meanwhile, Cooksey's website is still up and running, and still contains plenty of useful information about his unconventional dietary approach that has helped many. You can check it out here:
Cooksey's case is important, as it will set a precedent concerning government censorship of free speech. If government officials are allowed to deny Cooksey his ability to share truthful information about health with online readers, then no online free speech is safe from censorship.
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