There will be more doctors on the show floor at this year's Natural Products Expo—naturopathic doctors, that is. They are gathering at Expo West to drum up support for naturopathic doctor licensing in California, which is scheduled to go before the California Senate this term.
Licensing of naturopathic doctors will not only lend credibility to alternative health, but will benefit natural products retailers as well, according to Sally LaMont, N.D., executive director of the California Association of Naturopathic Physicians in Sacramento.
"One of the first places naturopathic doctors tell their clients to go is the health food store for the products that are going to help them change their lives," she says. And the relationship is reciprocal. If retailers are concerned about recommending supplements, they can say, "There's a N.D. in your area who can provide you with the information you need," she says.
California Senate President John Burton authored the naturopathic licensing bill. Burton is recognized in the natural health community for writing the health freedom bill that passed in late 2002, allowing alternative health practitioners to legally provide and advertise their services in California.
Naturopathic physician licensing requires four years of college followed by four years of naturopathic medical school comprising more than 4,000 hours of classroom and clinical training and national board examinations. Currently, 12 states license naturopathic physicians.
For more information or to support the initiative, visit www.canp.org or drop by the CANP booth at Natural Products Expo West.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 3/p. 34