07/28/2020 - On June 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill updating the state's Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Act, aligning it more closely with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Model Practice Act. The bill parallels the Academy's language and retains the requirement for a license in Florida for the provision of medical nutrition therapy, in which the risk of harm is most significant.
The change took Florida's law from having a potentially-unconstitutional, overly-broad practice exclusivity clause to an updated statute that more narrowly tailors the mandatory licensure requirement to the nutritional treatment and management of diseases and medical conditions. The bill eventually gained support even from well-funded opponents who are seeking to eliminate dietetics licensure entirely throughout the country.
The Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics worked throughout the legislative session, engaging members and communicating with legislators to pass a bill that will provide continued protection for consumers by ensuring that providers of nutrition care services meet education and training requirements.
Although the bill's wording may appear to be a reduction in scope, in fact the critical protections afforded consumers who require medical nutrition therapy remain firm.
Following the Academy's victory earlier this year – establishing licensure for registered dietitian nutritionists in New Jersey after a 30-year fight – and defending strong consumer protection licensure laws throughout the country, the Academy continues to make progress in defining and protecting the scope of practice for RDNs.