After months of tumultuous meetings and growing frustrations between raw milk dairy producers and representatives of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Dairy Work Group has been disbanded.
The Dairy Work Group was created in an attempt to create an open dialogue between state dairy farmers and health officials in hopes of finding compromise for new raw milk regulations. In November, some of the raw milk producers involved with the group expressed concerns that their views were being ignored or misrepresented by the committee.
The November 4th meeting turned out to be the group’s last, reports Donna OShaughnessy, one of the pro-raw milk members of the Dairy Work Group, on her blog. OShaughnessy explains that she received an email from Molly Lamb of the IDPH on November 21 that the group was being disbanded and participants should submit their final comments on the proposed regulations by December 2.
The disbanding came as a surprise; OShaughnessy writes that “at no time during the [November] meeting did Molly or Steve tell us that it was our last meeting.” The group was in the middle of discussing a two-tier dairy program for the state and was having significant disagreements over the Tier 1 portion.
“We did not discuss any requirements for Tier 2, as we had said many, many times that we would not move forward until Tier 1 rules were agreed…Obviously all the work we’ve done the last few months is just the beginning,” writes OShaughnessy.
The Dairy Work Group began as an opportunity for people on both sides of this controversial issue to find compromise, and quickly proved to be an uphill battle. Now, the future of raw milk regulations in Illinois remains uncertain.
Read the rest of Donna OShaughnessy’s side of the story here.
The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods. http://www.westonaprice.org/lab