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Turn down the heat on raw milk by turning it up on the Illinois Legislature!

As you probably know already, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has proposed new rules and regulations regarding the sales of raw unpasteurized milk in Illinois that have many farmers and consumers very worried. The proposed rules that severely restrict consumer access and hurt family farmers represents a de facto ban on the on-farm direct-to-consumer sales of raw milk.

IDPH has received over 700 comments regarding the proposed rules, the overwhelming majority of which have been in opposition. In response to the high volume of comments, IDPH extended the public comment period until December 4th. However at the conclusion of the comment period they are planning to file their proposal with the oversight committee at the state legislature that has final say on these matters, starting the clock on the final part of the process. The fate of the proposed rules is in the hands of that oversight committee, also known as the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

We need you to call all of the members of JCAR to express your opposition! You can find their contact information by clicking here! Contact information can also be found at the end of this post. Call their Springfield office and ask them to stand with family farmers.

Here is a suggested script:

“Hi I am calling regarding proposed administrative rules that will come before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules which {insert Rep or Senator’s name} sits on. The Illinois Department of Public Health has proposed new unnecessary rules that would overregulate small family farmers producing and selling raw milk on-farm direct-to-consumers, forcing most, if not all, out of business. I am calling on you to stop these unnecessary and burdensome rules that will impose undue economic impacts on small family farmers and consumers, by filing a prohibition or suspension of the rulemaking. IDPH should start over and, in good faith, work with raw milk producers to create rules that work for everyone.”

Joint Committee on Administrative Rules – Phone Numbers

  • Co-chairman Senator Don Harmon – 217/782-8176
  • Co-chairman Representative Timothy Schmitz – 217/782-5457
  • Senator Pam Althoff – 217/782-8000
  • Senator Tony Munoz – 217/782-9415
  • Senator Sue Rezin – 217/782-3840
  • Senator Dale Righter – 217/782-6674
  • Senator Ira Silverstein – 217/782-5500
  • Representative Greg Harris – 217/782-3835
  • Representative Lou Lang – 217/782-1252
  • Representative David Leitch – 217/782-8108
  • Representative Don Moffitt – 217/782-8032
  • Representative Andre Thapedi – 217/782-1702

Additional talking points:

  • These rules are a solution in search of a problem
  • Since 1998, according to the CDC there have been a mere 2 incidents involving raw unpasteurized milk in Illinois impacting only 20 people with zero hospitalizations and zero deaths. At the same time the CDC estimates that about 380,000 Illinoisans drink raw milk weekly.
  • In writing these rules IDPH rejected without explanation all substantial concessions and compromises offered by small raw milk producers and instead opted for the current overreaching regulatory approach that will not work.
  • Most small family farmers will not be able to comply with these rules forcing them out of business or into an underground illegal marketplace.
  • Raw milk producers and advocates estimate that raw milk consumption leads to approximately $67 million in annual revenue for Illinois small family farms and farmsteads, such a loss of revenue would have major negative impacts on rural jobs and economies.
  • The proposed rules infringe upon the consumers right to choose

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