Monday, April 1, 2013

Raw Milk Monday: Do you Know Your Committee Members?

Please note: If you are new to my blog you can catch up on the reasons for my raw milk passion and the struggles our own farm have experienced, by reading any of the previous posts on the topic I have written over the last 3 years . To do so, simply enter "Raw Milk" in the search bar under the picture of our house, on the right.



 

After a group of Illinois Raw Milk Farmers met on March 15, to discuss the proposed rules IDPH is pushing our way, I was asked to share the list of those Big Dairy and or Government employees serving on  IDPH's Raw Milk Committee. It is these following individuals who have verbalized their belief , through the creation of the proposed rules or statements made during the Feb. 22 raw milk steering committee conference call, that raw milk sales should be severely restricted if not completely eliminated.

If you know any of these individuals please give them a personal call or send them an email and tell them why you believe the current Illinois laws regarding raw milk sales are indeed, good enough. Share with them how limiting the availability of raw milk will affect you and/or your family either as a consumer or a raw milk producer.  Refer to LAST WEEKS RAW MILK POST if you need help with talking points. Or just call me 815-635-3414 or email me opies99@gmail.com for help.  Please note the list is not complete as I was not able to discover all the contact phone numbers.

Also of importance, the current Raw Milk Steering Committee currently has 19 members that I know of. Of those 19 I am the ONLY raw milk farmer who makes their living from raw milk sales. Three other small farmers are on the committee but sell very minimal amounts of raw milk and do not rely on these sales for any major part of their income. In addition I identified  3 other members as small business owners who sell pasteurized milk products but NO RAW MILK at all.  Of the remaining 12 members: (1)  FDA, (2)  IDPH, (1) University of Illinois (5) Prairie Farms: Dairy Farm Cooperative with 700 members across the Midwest  (1) Illinois Farm Bureau (2) Dean Foods

The following is the list of names and phone numbers and emails I was able to obtain;

Representing the Illinois Department of Public Health:
Molly Lamb  217-782-4977   Molly.Lamb@illinois.gov
(Division Chief of Food Drugs and Dairies)
Steve Divincenzo 217-785-2439 Steve.Divincenzo@illinois.gov
( Director of the Dairy Division)

Representing The University of Illinois
Dr. John Herrmann  217-265-6585 jah1110@illinois.edu
Professor Veterinary Clinical Medicine
Director DVM/MPH

Representing the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration)
Lawrence Terando  312-596-651lawrence.terando@fda.hhs.gov

Representing Prairie Farms
Don Mackinson  dmackinson@hotmail.com
Kevin Olson  kolson@prairiefarms.com
Dave Lattan dlattan@prairiefarms.com
Joe Delaney  jdelaney@prairiefarms.com
Tom Benthien  tbenthien@prairiefarms.com

Representing the Illinois Farm Bureau
Jim Fraley   jfraley@ilfb.org

Representing Dean Foods
Roger Hooi  roger_hooi@deanffods.com
John Sanford  john_sanford@deanfoods.com


Keep in mind that I personally called Molly Lamb on Match 19 and expressed my serious concern over the one-sided anti-raw milk composition of the committee. She told me she did not know how to contact any raw milk consumers or farmers (yet they managed to find me!)

I suggested several other names to her. She asked that I put them in an email. Last week I submitted a list to her of 6 raw milk farmers and 4 consumers all of which had given me permission to do so. Molly has since thanked me for the list and told me that Steve Divincenzo would be making contact with those individuals I suggested.

I do hope he follows through. In the last 4 days I have recieved several more names for inclusion to the Raw Milk Steering Committee and I will submit those names as well.

Now, you might question the reasoning behind my listing these committee members names on my blog for the whole world to see but my response is...why not? If indeed these people feel they have the "authority" to propose rules that can drastically alter the lives of consumers and farmers, possibly affecting the health, well being and ability to make a living of those who rely on raw milk, should those raw milk steering committee members not be held accountable to the public for their actions?

Since it is our tax money that pays their salaries, and I am talking about all those listed above, not the small businesses also on the committee, should they not be required to answer the phone calls, letters and emails they might receive? After all, no one is paying my husband or I for the time and money we are spending to defend our livelihood, suddenly put at the mercy of those whose salaries are paid for by all of our hard work, why shouldn't they have to answer the publics questions and concerns.?

Part of their job description I might suggest.

Don't forget the May 1 mtg of the next IDPH Raw Milk Steering Committee. !!!
It is an OPEN mtg and we need to fill the room will raw milk advocates.  10 am    1701 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, Illinois. Please call IDPH a couple days before to verify time and place  217-782-4977



6 comments:

  1. It is in my opinion that EVERY person that is in the position to create, dictate, suggest or pass laws that can directly or indirectly effect my life should be published. I'd even take it a step farther that those same people should be held accountable for the laws they pass.

    These people need to know that they are NOT in charge of our food choices, regardless of what "authority" they feel they have given themselves. And if these ignorant laws should pass, then these same people need to be shunned, ostracized, whatever. They are indeed no more than political vermin and should be treated as such.

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  2. I think the members should be listed if they are in the capacity of making decisions that will affect the public. Good for you for doing so.

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  3. Julie and I will be writing.

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  4. I emailed them all with my concerns, thanks for the contacts and the updates. This is a concern of mine for my family and yours. Andrea
    Fellow soaper and milk customer:)

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  5. Hi, I just wrote a blog post about this issue, along with my thoughts from my background as a Russian translator, and I linked to your post here. Here's my blog post:

    http://www.divinemind.biz/blog/2013/04/08/back-into-the-fray-opposing-yet-another-oligarchy/

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