Open Letter Testimony to Michigan Legislative Representatives Regarding
House Regulatory Reform & House Bill No. 4688
Dear Representative Sam Singh & Senator Gretchen Whitmer, and House Regulatory Reform Committee,
My name is Dr. Craig “Sa’id” Oster, a 19-year survivor of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). I am the Co-founder and Director of THE HEALERS campaign, a national holistic health and ALS scientific research campaign. We have over 50 renowned experts in integrative and alternative medicine, including many with advanced knowledge and evidence-based approaches to nutrition. Most people with Lou Gehrig’s disease are dead within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. I am alive and doing as well as I am, to a considerable extent, due to nutrition practitioners who are not Registered Dietitians. Some were Naturopathic Doctors, some were Chiropractors, and I have also received very important nutritional advice from those who have PhDs in Nutrition as well as Board Certified Clinical Nutritionists! I passionately support HB 4688 to repeal the dietetics licensure law (PA 333).
Registered Dietitians developed the ALS Association (ALSA) dietary guidelines, and these are still the standard of care in dietetics textbooks today. They include the very foods and beverages that are toxic to ALS patients and very unhealthy for the general population. They recommended the consumption of junk foods, and Ensure that is loaded with sugar and ingredients such as MSG, along with the consumption of unlimited chocolate-syrup ice cream milkshakes. The nutritional experts that I consulted were able to help me include organic foods, beverages and nutritional supplements that support my cellular functioning.
I would likely be the typical ALS patient who dies within 10 years following diagnosis, if I had followed the advice of most Registered Dietitians. How can I trust an organization that partners with and receives significant money from Big Food companies like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Hershey’s and others which provide continuing education events for RDs? As a highly educated consumer, I deserve the right to receive professional nutritional consultations from the nutritional expert of my choice. The truth is that there is no logical reason to give a monopoly to RDs.
If you become acquainted with all the facts of this issue, you will see that the state of Michigan would be making a very positive decision to support HB 4688. I highly recommend that you read the first-rate investigative journalism reports by Michael Ellsberg in Forbes Magazine, “Is The ADA Intentionally Using State Legislatures To Block Alternative Nutrition Providers? (7/10/2012)” and “Is the American Dietetic Association Attempting to Limit Market Competition in Nutrition Counseling? (4/5/2012)”.
My firm conclusion is that House Bill No. 4688 will help Michigan’s public health and economy; jobs will be preserved and patients like me will have access to nutrition practitioners of our choice.
There is absolutely no evidence that PA 333 will protect the public. The evidence is overwhelmingly supportive of the assertion that the law established anti-competitive and monopolistic protection for one trade association, the Michigan Dietetic Association, which just last year changed its name to Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The public deserves the right to choose the nutrition practitioner of their choice, and those nutrition practitioners (non-dietitians) deserve the right to continue offering their services to the public.
Before closing my passionate plea that you vote on the side of truth and justice on this issue, I would like you to have a little more background on myself to put more of a personal face on my imploration. 4 years ago I was discharged from an extended stay in hospice after having required breathing machines to make it through the night. The nutritional advice I received from professionals who were not Registered Dietitians was a critical part of my recovery. Are you going to take that freedom away from the citizens who placed you in elected office?
I feel SO strongly about this issue thatI developed THE HEALERS campaignand launched it on New Year’s Day 2012. Some of my advisors include Dr Ann Louise Gittleman the multiple New York Times bestseller of nutrition books, Dr Robert Young the pioneering scientist who promotes a high alkaline dietary lifestyle with many documented cases of terminal cancer reversal, Coco Newton, MPH, RD, CCN a brilliant evidence-based nutritional expert who improved my health with nutritional consultation (Coco is on the Governor’s Dietetics Advisory Board), Dr Brian Clement the Founder and Director of the world renowned Hippocrates Institute, Dr Gabriel Cousens who has written about healing diabetes with nutritional principles, and Dr Roger Newton the man who is the co-inventor of Lipitor who is sharing his knowledge in nutritional biochemistry to help me conduct dietary scientific research to advance the wellness of people with ALS. I hope that it doesn’t become a crime for Dr Roger Newton to share his advanced knowledge in nutritional biochemistry, in our state of Michigan, to help people with ALS!
Many other remarkable people are behind my cause, now our cause. For example, Dr Bruce Lipton the pioneering stem cell biologist and author of the bestseller “The Biology of Belief”, Dr Hyla Cass a regular guest on the Dr Oz Show, and the legendary Dr Bernie Siegel, were all willing to put their huge names behind my ALS scientific research and educational campaign.
I am going to post my open letter to you in my THE HEALERS campaign website blog, to my 5,000 Facebook friends, to my 9,000 followers on Twitter, to my nearly 1,600 people on my Dr Craig Facebook Fan Page, to my 437 connections on LinkedIn including the Pro-Lansing Discussion Group, and I will be contacting the local media with my letter in attempt to leverage media coverage for the cause of truth and justice. I pray, my dear representatives, you choose to be part of the story of fighting for the freedom of choice regarding Michigan consumers and their consultations with highly qualified nutritional professionals, and not allowing a monopoly of one trade association (Michigan Dietetic Association).
In closing, I also would like you to know that my Mother, Bonnie Conn-Oster, would also likely be dead if she had been limited to receiving dietary advice from Registered Dietitians. In December of 2012, my Mother was diagnosed with terminal stage-4 aggressive lung cancer, which was soon crushing her heart, throat and spine. Doctors said it would be impossible for her to survive. All of her veins were popping out of her body and she was having frequent blood transfusions and could barely speak to me on the telephone for even one minute. What I am going to next share with you is not exclusively about the problem of a monopoly of the dietetics association, but it is very pertinent to that issue. The hospital cancer unit, like many, recommended consuming a high sugar diet. My Mother received dietary advice from other nutritional professionals who were not Registered Dietitians, and is now cancer free living independently following a high alkaline diet and juicing.
Please pass HB 4688 to repeal the dietetics licensure law. From the perspective of my Mother and I, this issue is of life and death importance. Furthermore, a repeal will protect the livelihood of highly qualified nutritional professionals who do not happen to be Registered Dietitians.
Craig “Sa’id” Oster, PhD