Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Illinois Department of Public Confusion

I don't get it. We open a dairy. We complete paperwork. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) inspects us , pats us on the head, and grants us a Grade A Dairy Permit. We sell milk to Foremost and to individual customers. After 11 years Foremeost tells us we can't sell raw milk even though IDPH says we can. So Foremost stops picking up our milk.

Being the law abiding citizien I am, really I'm sort of a "rules girl", I decide to call IDPH to inform them of our status change in regards to our no longer having a conventional buyer. I also want to clarify which milk tests we will need to do independently since Foremost will no longer be testing our milk. I leave messages. LOTS of messages. But no one returns my calls. Hmmmmm. After THREE weeks I try the Supervisor of the Champaign Region and he does return my call. (Thank you again Larry Mohr)

Larry admits that the department has not been returning my calls because "The department doesn't really know what to do with you Donna. You don't fit into one of their boxes". He goes on to tell me in regards to our Grade A permit. "You don't need it anymore, for all I'm concerned you can tear it up today" He also said "No more inspectors will come to your farm" When I asked about milk tests he said since we no longer have a permit (keep in mind we had the permit 30 seconds ago before I called Mr Mohr) we were not required to test our milk BUT if we wanted to, once a month would be good.

So lets see if I understand this tangled web. Foremost won't buy our milk anymore because we sold some of it raw to private customers. IDPH  says its OK to sell raw milk but they tell the public it is dangerous to their health if they consume it .Because we no longer have a conventional buyer, Illinois will not maintain our Grade A permit EVEN THOUGH this would allow them to continue to inspect our farm regularly and thus help us maintain clean and sanitary conditions which would logically decrease the risk to the public, which if you recall, is what IDPH is suppossed to be all about. Please note we have had a Grade A permit for 11 years and have always had good inspection results.

Really, IDPH, thats OK . We did not maintain your cleanliness policies just for you anyway. We followed them because we wanted a clean safe product for our consumers. We followed them because we felt it was the right thing to do. We will continue to follow IDPH standards for a Grade A Dairy even though you no longer care if we do. We're just that way I guess.

1 comment:

  1. Donna, So sorry for the problems. The worst part is that nobody reading about IDHP and Foremost could even pretend to surprise over the volume and quality of confusion and stupidity of corporations and government agencies.

    Small farms and independent people are the real point of America. Folks are turning away from bland, mass-produced foods and products and people. Those who prefer Wonder Bread and Foremost milk are the very people who populate the world of stupidity you battled. Bland food, lives & people -- all safely homogenized with little chance of nourishing anything. Of course there's a connection!

    Thank you, Keith & Donna, for keeping common sense, natural good health and flavor in your products, your lives and yourselves. Best of blessings!