Monday, May 6, 2013

Raw Milk Monday...Review of the May 1 Meeting

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.

Patra, age 5, Brown Swiss, lifelong resident of
South Pork Ranch and raw milk producer.

Five days ago on May 1, was the Dairy Work Group of The Illinois Department of Public Health(IDPH) met for the fourth time.  This was the meeting raw milk advocates had been preparing for since I first learned of IDPH's plan to restrict raw milk sales back in February.

For the last 9 weeks, raw milk farmers, consumers and those who believe we should be allowed to eat and drink as we choose have been preparing for this meeting. We did our research, we checked our sources, we consulted with those brighter than us and we spread the word across Illinois that IDPH had plans to pass laws that would make raw milk production and sales nearly impossible.

And on May 1 we showed up.

What an amazing day that was! Consumers and farmers from all over the state drove to Bloomington Illinois to listen to the Dairy Work Group discuss the pros and cons (mostly cons) of the proposed rules. Reporters attended from several publications and in the afternoon testimony of raw milk lovers was heard. One of those was Dr. Mark Rosenbloom of the Chicago Medical Society who read his groups proposed resolution in support of raw milk.

Yes, that is correct, physicians in support of raw milk

In addition, testimony supporting raw milk consumption was also heard from attorneys, a minister, young mothers and a retired Indiana Health Department Director of Foodborne Illnesses.


But even with all the very positive actions that took place that day many of us left the meeting frustrated, and with good reason.

Despite our well researched, well prepared stance against the proposed rules, IDPH director Molly Lamb did not remove a single one from the list.

Despite her reassurance to the standing room only group of supporters that 'We are just in the discussion stage" IDPH director Dr LaMar Hasbrouck sent a letter to the General Assembly on April 9th without the knowledge of the Dairy Work Group, telling our Representatives in both the Illinois House and Senate that " unpasteurized milk cannot be considered safe under any circumstances."

Despite the fact that Dr Hasbrouck also said in his April 9th letter "The department and it's Dairy Work Group proposes the following main focal points..." and he goes on to list additional proposed rules that WERE NEVER DISCUSSED by the Dairy Work Group in their last meeting Feb 22. Two additional proposed rules were (1) Institute a maximum sell by date from the time the container was filled and (2) Allow for sale targeting animal consumption.

So while on one hand we are being told by the meetings facilitator Molly Lamb,  that we "must work together" and we need to be "professional in our actions" her own boss is submitting information to the law makers of our state without the knowledge of the group who is supposed to be proving invaluable input.

So much for IDPH's own Mission Statement which lists as a principle

"Partnership and collaboration to achieve coordinated response to community health issues"

Obviously our work has just begun. The Dairy Work Groups next Conference call is scheduled for June 11. These are open meetings that any consumer, farmer or interested citizen can call in and listen to. To get specific information on how to do this please go to IDPH's Web Site where you will also be able to review the minutes of the May 1 mtg which must be posted as well.

 Please continue to contact your representatives, the Illinois Department of Public Health at 217- 782 4977, and your local news paper via letters to the editor. Please complete the comment page also on the IDPH website (click on "calendar" then go to the May 1 Dairy Work Group Paragraph for the link to the comment page) Tell them how restricted access will affect you and your family as well as your farmer. Remind them that Illinois is broke and doesn't have the money to enforce areas that do not need enforcement.

Tell them there is no reason to fix what is not broken.


  1. Keep it up! I've not seen a Brown Swiss before; she's a bute, although someone's stolen her horns.

  2. That makes me so sick/angry that I actually want to vomit. Do you think she could get a steering committee to talk about the dangers of just TALKING about raw milk oppression? And imagine how she'd twist even those facts: "The IDPH feels that even thinking about raw milk will make one vomit"

  3. Your frustration and anger are palatable, and rightly so. We grew up on raw milk, sold butter and cream to our neighbors who pasteurized their milk. Never had an illness from it. "Make one vomit" Grrrr.

  4. Yet another example of talking out of both sides of it's...mouth. What's more horrifying is that we elect these nimrods. Although I am not an Illinois resident, I am behind you 200 percent. I am also a raw milk drinker. Wouldn't touch the other stuff with a ten foot pole.

  5. I'm proud of you and all the people who turned out to support the sale of raw milk. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats have already made up their minds. Where I live, not only can it not be sold, it can't even be given away for free. Why should anyone want to tell us we can't drink raw milk--but it's okay for us to fill our bodies with GMO, over-processed, fast food crap?

  6. Carolyn,no worries. Rants are welcome here on this American Blog where the right to express ones opinion still far...

  7. All three Susans (how fun is that?)The whole warped process of law making has been shocking to me. I knew very little about how it was done but now that I indeed know better, I will be paying more attention. And thanks all three of you for your support.

  8. Unbelieveable. And very, very sad.

    I'm glad i'm not closer to Dr LaMar Hasbrouck because i'd drink a glass of pasteurized milk and puke it all over him/her. That would be a fairer sight than allowing my GI tract to reject it, um, the other way, if you know what i mean.

  9. Megan. I am sure Dr Hasbrouck appreciates your demonstration of choice when it comes to "returning" pasteurized milk! Well, he should.

  10. Sounds to me like they've already got their minds made up. This our government in a nutshell.

  11. Good luck to you. Raw milk sales are illegal in michigan so we trade raw eggs for raw milk....illicit milk drinking makes me feel so naughty....sheesh.