The following is an update to Illinois Food Rights Threatened.
Since the May 1st meeting of the Dairy Work Group of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in Bloomington where 125 people came to show support for our freedom of choice many good things have occurred.
The Dairy working group has met several more times and now includes 7 raw milk farmers, 5 raw milk consumers, and 2 Prairie Farms employees as well as the IDPH employees, Farm Bureau reps, including Molly Lamb and Steve Divicenzo. IDPH has been given the directive that they MUST develop raw milk rules. All involved have agreed to create a two tier system for Illinois Raw Milk Farmers.
The first tier would allow off farm sales only but would not require regular inspection or testing, the second tier would be voluntary for the farmer and would require regular inspection with much higher standards such as those being promoted through the Raw Milk Institute founded by Mark McAfee.
So is a time to make a choice – stand by and let whatever will be or help to promote our freedom of choice through education. On August 7th there will be an educational event focused on raw milk. The intention of the program is to provide an understanding on the topic.
The presenter, Kimberly Hartke is a nationally recognized expert on the subject based in Washington DC.
Some key points that will be presented are:
- differences in raw and pasteurized milk
- safety concerns
- health benefits
- scientific data
- consumer interest
- Q&A with raw milk producers
Please attend and share this event with any interested parties. More importantly please contact the members of the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and ask them to attend. JCAR will be reviewing the proposed regulatory changes being created by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) As it stands the current proposal will not only meet the needs of the IL DPH but also our producers as well as us, the consumers.
We want to keep this momentum going. Providing education to the key decision makers is a significant part of this. Attached it the list of the JCAR members and their contacts. Please at least reach out to any members located near you.
You may view many of the attendees comments from the May 1st meeting in this video.