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July 7, 2011

California Acupuncturists Help Defeat SB628

California officials voted against California bill SB628 that pushed to create a new Chinese medicine profession called "Traditional Chinese Medicine traumatologists," at a hearing held Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif.

The California Assembly Committee for Business, Professions and Consumer Protection had a final vote tally of: 4-Supporting; 4-Opposing; 1-Abstaining, according to the CSOMA who called the hearing a "passionate nail-biter."

The bill introduced by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has been strongly opposed by the California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA) who has been gathering supporters for months to defeat the bill, because they said it posed a variety of dangers to the profession.

CSOMA was able to gain strong support from numerous acupuncturists and organizations by highlighting various weak aspects of the new bill including noting that TCM traumatology is "part of the broader field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, a field already regulated by the California Acupuncture Board" and would have ultimately overlapped with the scope of practice of acupuncturists in the state.

They also noted SB628 required no certification examination and no written or practical knowledge was required to obtain the certification - making "Traditional Chinese Medicine traumatologists" the only medical profession in California without an examination process for certification, which posed a "significant threat to consumer safety."

Although the bill was defeated, Sen.Yee's office indicated that they intend to have the bill reconsidered in Assembly B&P early next year. On their website, CSOMA notes this hearing may be a "vote only" hearing with no additional testimony. The organization noted it would be continuing its efforts in gathering support to defeat it once again.

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