Illinois Raw Milk Producers Concerned their Views are Misrepresented in Dairy Work Group

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Dairy Work Group has met five times since January 2013 and it appears that members are no closer to agreeing on a set of reasonable, constitutional set of rules and regulations regarding raw milk.

The Dairy Work Group was created in an attempt to regulate the state’s raw milk dairy farmers and consumers. The group is a subcommittee of the Food Safety Advisory Committee, which reports to the head of the IDPH. Unfortunately, since the creation of the subcommittee, several members of the Illinois raw milk community have become increasingly concerned that their views are being either ignored or misrepresented by the committee – mainly, that meeting notes inaccurately reflect discussions and agreements from previous meetings.

In an attempt to rectify these inaccuracies, several raw milk producers presented a letter at the November 4, 2013 meeting that clarified their recommendations for Tier 1 classification of raw milk, which included:

1)   Voluntary registration by the raw milk farmer with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

2)   Posting signs on farms where raw milk is sold stating that the milk is not pasteurized.

3)   Allows sales of raw milk only on the farm, direct to consumers with consumers providing their own containers.

“Any other suggested requirements for a raw milk farm under a Tier 1 designation such as inspections, limited sales amounts, mandatory testing, required permits, etc., have not been agreed to by those of us who have signed this letter.” They also requested that a copy of the letter be attached to the meeting minutes, so as to avoid further confusion.

Read more about the Dairy Work Group’s 2013 progress and plight here.

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