Raw Milk legislation is on the move. The committee with jurisdiction over this bill is meeting on Wednesday, March 18, at 8:00 a.m. If the bill isn't heard on Wednesday, the committee has another meeting set for Friday (March 20) at 9:30 a.m.
The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee because of its content as introduced. We are concerned that the members of the Judiciary Committee may not be completely familiar with the public health implications of the bill.
With the amendment, the bill amends Section 8 of The Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act. The amendment makes the following changes to existing law:
"The pasteurization requirement of this Section shall not be applicable to milk that isproduced in accordance with Department rules and regulations if sold or distributed on the premises of the dairy farm where it is produced. For the purposes of this Section 'dairy farm' means any place where one or more cows, goats, sheep, or any other hooved animals are kept for milk production."
The amendment, therefore, removes the Department's authority to regulate the production, distribution, or sale of raw milk.
The bill page is hyperlinked here if you wish to review. Note that Amendment 1 is significantly different than the bill as originally introduced. The amendment removes the liability protection in the underlying bill.
IPHA, NIPHC, and IAPHA have worked closely with IDPH to develop the rules that were introduced last Summer. This legislation isn't needed; the Department's proposed rules should be allowed to go forward. IAPHA, IPHA, NIPHC, ICAAP, and presumably IDPH and ISMS, are all opposing this legislation. The public health associations are opposing the bill for these reasons:
1) The consumption of raw milk is not recommended
2) IPHA, NIPHC, and IAPHA have worked closely with IDPH to develop the rules that were proposed last summer. This rule making process should be allowed to go forward.
Click here to access the witness slip we are asking you to fill out. This should be done first thing Wednesday 3/18 if you intend to file opposition.