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Florida Threatens Woman with Fines, Jail for Giving Diet Tips

9th October 2017

Read it.

The State of Florida is threatening a woman with jail unless she stops telling people what to eat.

To clarify: Heather Kokesch Del Castillo of Fort Walton Beach is not wandering around the supermarket in giving unsolicited advice. People have been asking her—and paying her—for dietary and nutritional advice. Though all she is doing is talking to people as a health coach, the state has declared her an unlicensed dietitian and fined her more than $750. She faces misdemeanor charges if she doesn’t shut her mouth, with further fines of up to $1,000 for each incident and possibly even a year in prison.

She has turned for help to the lawyers at the Institute for Justice, who have been fighting overreaching occupational licensing schemes for years.

Occupational licensing is typically a method for existing players in a market to use the coercive power of government to restrict entry and reap oligopoly profits, all in the name of ‘protecting the consumer’, even though in most cases the consumer is neither consulted nor desires such protection. But you knew that.

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