Action alert: Raw Milk in Illinois at risk
Tell the Illinois Department of Public Health not to issue any raw milk regulations; leave the law the way it is.
Under current Illinois law, farmers can sell an unlimited amount of raw milk on the farm without a permit. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is in the process of drafting a regulation to change that—a regulation that would severely restrict consumer access and deny raw milk producers the ability to make a living. The proposed regulation would prohibit producers from selling more than 100 gallons a month; in addition, it would require raw dairy farmers to comply with Grade A standards, costing farmers thousands of dollars to upgrade their dairy facility. Further, the regulation would ban herd-share agreements, even though Illinois law recognizes dairy livestock boarding contracts as being legal.
IDPH is proposing to change the law even though there have been no cases of food-borne illnesses attributed to raw milk produced in Illinois going as far back as at least 1999.
TAKE ACTION - #1
Email Molly Lamb, the Division Chief of IDPH’s Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies; tell her that IDPH should leave the law the way it is and not issue a regulation on raw milk. Ms. Lamb’s email address is [masked]
Please copy your State Representative and State Senator on the email to Ms. Lamb.
Need help finding your state legislators? See details at the end or go to http://gis.elections.il.gov/map_viewer_update/default.aspx
Some state legislators do not have an email address. If that is the case, please either fax or call their office to let them know about your opposition to the proposed regulation.
TAKE ACTION - #2
Attend the May 1 meeting of the Raw Milk Steering Committee in Bloomington. The committee will finish drafting the proposed regulation; the meeting is open to the public. Please make plans to attend.
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday - May 1, 2013
Why: Oppose any regulation that limits access to raw milk and hinders raw milk producers
1. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The current laws are working. There have been no cases of food-borne illness attributed to any Illinois raw milk producers going at least as far back as 1999.
2. The regulation would have a devastating economic impact on Illinois raw milk producers with the 100-gallon limit. Consumers will no longer contribute to the state economy, instead spending their money with out-of-state raw milk producers.
3. The new regulations will cost money to enforce. Why is a state that’s in terrible financial condition spending money on something that isn’t a problem? State resources can be better spent elsewhere.
4. IDPH is exceeding its lawful powers; there is nothing in the law to allow it to limit the amount of raw milk producers can sell. The department is trying to ban herd-shares with the proposed regulation despite Illinois statute recognizing dairy livestock boarding contracts as legal.
5. The proposed regulation will take away options on food choices from educated consumers. Many potential raw milk sources will not be able to stay in business with the 100-gallon limit.
IDPH has charged the Raw Milk Steering Committee (a subcommittee of the Illinois Food Safety Committee) with drafting the proposed raw milk regulation. The subcommittee is stacked with people from the conventional dairy industry and the Department of Public Health that are totally opposed to raw milk. An IDPH official admitted that the department is trying to have these proposed changes become law through rulemaking because the Illinois Legislature would never pass what IDPH wants to do. While IDPH is trying to limit how much raw milk producers can sell, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is promoting the “Illinois Product Challenge” encouraging residents to buy more of their food from Illinois producers [see the press release at www.agr.state.il.us/newsrels/r0726121.html].
The subcommittee is scheduled to finalize the rules in a May 1 meeting in Bloomington that will be open to the public. There are other steps that need to be taken before the rule is officially proposed to the general public; the time to stop it is now before it gets any further along the rule-making process.
Follow current activities and updates at the googlesite, Raw Milk Threatened in Illinois
(short link: http://goo.gl/Lr2s9)
CONTACT IDPH & ILLINOIS LEGISLATORS
Letters may also be mailed to Molly Lamb (phone:[masked]):
Molly Jo Lamb, Division Chief
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies
[masked] West Jefferson Street
House Members – Representatives:
Senate Members - Senators