As I’ve shown, the British Association for Nutritional Therapy (BANT) is not a regulator for nutritionists, and does not fulfill the functions of a good regulator. If the organisation were represented as a non-regulator (as a lobby group, say) that would be fair enough. However, the way that some nutritionists describe BANT makes it easy to get the (mistaken) impression that BANT is a regulator.
Patrick Holford claims that BANT “is the self-regulating organisation that represents this profession” of nutritionists. He does not explicitly say that BANT is a regulator – but it would be very easy to get this impression. Statements by others in the field could also give this impression: for example, the nutritionist Josephine Ng states that “as a full member of…BANT…I am bound by its strict ethical code of conduct.”
I understand that there may, eventually, be moves to bring in a regulator of nutritional therapists. However, until this happens, nutritional therapists – or those advertising the services of nutritional therapists – should be sure that their (prospective) clients know if the therapists in question are not governed by any regulator. People may wish to take the risk of using an unregulated nutritional therapist – but that’s a decision which they need to take with their eye’s open.
BANT’s website states that they act as “a governing, professional body regulating the activities, training and Continuing Professional Development of its practitioners.” However, given the potential for people to assume – incorrectly – that BANT regulate nutritionists, I would suggest that it would be helpful if BANT stated, in a prominent place on their website and any promotional literature, that they are not a regulator.