Transcript: Nutrition Bill Doctored in the California Senate
In the hearing to decide the fate of a California bill to mandate doctors actually be taught a little something about nutrition, you can tell the author of the bill, Dr. John McDougall, is starting to get a bit frustrated at the opposition:
Dr. McDougall: “We’re talking about over two-thirds of the problems that people suffer from are due to what they eat, yet their physician knows virtually nothing about the human diet. So how do you correct that? It’s not being done at the medical schools. It’s not being done by the CMA [California Medical Association]. It’s not being done by anybody. It has to be left to people who can make changes, like the legislature. And I’m sure there are lots of doctors out there that say, ‘I don’t need to learn about what a person eats.’ But how would you feel if you took your dog or cat to a veterinarian, and the veterinarian had no idea what to feed a dog or a cat, or a bird? I mean, wouldn’t that require some type of correction? You take a patient to a doctor, who has been trained for seven years, at least, on the human being, and you ask them what a person is to eat. They have no idea, because of the fault of education. So we can fix it, or we can ignore it. I don’t think we should ignore it. I think the price is too great, financially, and for the society, and for the individual. It’s too great to ignore. I think it’s quite obvious why people are sick in this country. And as legislators and physicians, we have a responsibility to the people that we care for. And right now, doctors are letting their patients down, and they’re letting themselves down, because the most important tool available, they know nothing about.”
In the end, Republican Mark Wyland had to make a choice—between what he knew was right, and vote yes, or his campaign contributor, the California Medical Association, and vote no.
Senator Mark Wyland: “Now, I think this is one way that…I am, I am going to vote for this, because even in these other specialties, there is a need. That same orthopedic surgeon who wants the overweight person for a hip or a knee, doesn’t know what to give them. Even if they could just hand them, you know, follow this.”
Dr. McDougall: “Could I briefly respond to that?”
So, good news, it passed—but not without first being amended. It went from requiring 12 hours, to 7 hours, to just striking the whole requirement for any hours altogether—just saying the Board of Medicine could set standards to include something, anything, on the prevention and cure of chronic disease through diet. And then, they even took away cure, and settled on some nebulous plea for information on prevention and treatment.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.
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