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It looks like we've stirred the hornets nest here in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health has found themselves a friendly journalist after the honey bills passed out of both the House and Senate Ag committees Tuesday on unanimous votes.

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-7019-a-sticky-situation.html

"However, representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health are challenging the bill, contending that unregulated honey is a health risk. Conny Moody, of the department’s health protection office, says she’s concerned about cleanliness and sanitation, even for small hobbyist facilities."

"“Tainted honey can contain pathogens or chemicals,” Watkins says. “It’s not often the case with hobby beekeepers, but the issue is, a lot of food is changing. Peanut butter is growing bacteria now. The possibility is there.”

No other food is allowed manufacturing without health department inspection, Watkins says, and the bill would create a dangerous precedent."

If anyone wants to take the time to help us here in Illinois and comment on the article, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
ND
 

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>“When you’re talking about 500 gallons of honey, that’s 4,000 of those eight-ounce honey bears,” Moody says.

Actually that is 3,000 8 0z bears

>Mike Sabo of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association says the bill is meant to separate small producers from large commercial hives. Most of the state’s beekeepers are small outfits, he says, and the regulatory practices are hindering their ability to produce and sell honey.

A honey producer is a honey producer no matter how many hives they have.

>anyone who makes hundreds of gallons of honey is susceptible because they must store the excess product. If it gets too hot or cold, the honey can change consistency, which puts it at greater risk for disease.

This is a crock of bull. It is safer in a container inside a building than being in the hive being exposed to all the ag and lawn chemicals. Honey in the hive can be exposed to temps from below 0 deg F-120 deg F. Temp doesn't put it at risk of disease.

>a lot of food is changing. Peanut butter is growing bacteria now. The possibility is there.

There goes that apple to oranges again. The possibilty of the sky falling is there also. Should it be mandatory we all wear hardhats when outside of a building.
 

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>“When you’re talking about 500 gallons of honey, that’s 4,000 of those eight-ounce honey bears,” Moody says.

Actually that is 3,000 8 0z bears
It's Illinois, they'll tax you on 4000 anyway. Mathematics in this state is distorted by glacial sediments left over from the last ice age (or something like that.)

>Mike Sabo of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association says the bill is meant to separate small producers from large commercial hives. Most of the state’s beekeepers are small outfits, he says, and the regulatory practices are hindering their ability to produce and sell honey.

A honey producer is a honey producer no matter how many hives they have.
Of course, that's not what I said in my testimony and the author never bothered to call me. I'm not a muckity-muck goobermint official worthy of a real quote. The closest thing I said to that in my testimony was "The Illinois Legislature has set the precedent of reducing such barriers by establishing multi-tier procedures separating large commercial operations from those engaged in direct retail sales. An example of this would be the license exemption in the Illinois Egg and Egg Products Act." I was addressing the issue of barriers to entry and sunk costs.

ND
 

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If news is so slow that they are talking about honey you could call in and offer up your side of the story for interviews. Call/email enough stations/papers someone is bound to want your side.

Her department considers honey a processed food, she says, especially if machinery is used when removing the sticky substance from the comb. Some producers also combine honey from more than one comb, and that increases the potential for contamination
Do you think they would have as many objections if you could sell cut comb only?
 

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Of course, that's not what I said in my testimony and the author never bothered to call me. I'm not a muckity-muck goobermint official worthy of a real quote.
ND
Hey, I'm kinda a government official and they misquote me all the time. That's just the media....they usually get the story wrong, and when they don't, it's a surprise. Quotes are routinely wrong, taken out of context, or placed in a different context to further the story the reporter thought he was writing. No, they won't call to check a quote, EVER, let alone a fact.
 

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Its often bothered me that a sign of a good reporter is one who can ask questions to get the answers the reporters want to hear.

Its very hard to work in the media. People are overworked and under paid, and don't have the time to check quotes or fact check (not an excuse for poor reporting, but true), which is why I never pay it much attention. Generally these people are pushed to make air more then they are pushed for quality.
 

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Hey, I'm kinda a government official and they misquote me all the time. That's just the media....they usually get the story wrong, and when they don't, it's a surprise. Quotes are routinely wrong, taken out of context, or placed in a different context to further the story the reporter thought he was writing. No, they won't call to check a quote, EVER, let alone a fact.
Mea culpa. My rant should be taken as a "vent' and not a personal attack against government officials or members of the media.

ND
 

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Mark in Kansas is right...most reporters misquote all the time. THe govt official shows their lack of knowledge about honey....most inspectors know little about honey. Just like attorneys....When I do a real estate closing(I also am a auctioneer) there is a mistake ade by a attorney most of the time...actually attorneys know less than realtors or auctioneers. Noone knows your product like you do. Now that I've said all that....I personally disagree with not being inspected if your bottling 500 gallons....thats quite a bit of honey. Anyone bottling this much should have a place fixed to bottle it and needs most things required to pas inspection.....3,000 bears is not playing around! Now if you have a few hives and sell out your backdoor or at work noone is going to say anything. Farmers markets in this area REQUIRE you to be inspected to sell. Ky has a 150 gal exemption..but farmers markets still require inspection for one reason...liability. If you are inspected it will help if you are ever in court....IF you bottle in your garage and get sued....well good luck. Personally although it makes me mad the govt official made honey look bad because of lack of knowledge....that much honey should not be exempted....it makes a mess like above or will when someone gets sued.
 

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It's my observation that much of what passes for "food safety" is really about control of the food supply by the corporatocracy.
 

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Peanut butter, raw hamburger etc grow bacteria because they are processed in mega facilities that are nearly impossible to keep clean. Ever see a packing plant where they grind hamburger meat. Each motorized cart holds a little less than a 12yd. dump truck of raw hamburger and I can't even begin to describe how big the meat grinders are. Not fair to compare honey bottling to a peanut butter or hamburger plant.

One other important factoid Conny Moody left off. Honey has natural anti-biotics, not to mention the sugar content retards bacterial growth. Bottom line....ignorant people making uninformed alarmist statements.:no:
 

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If you do nothing to the honey other than extract it it is not processed is it? It should be compared to selling apples or oranges more than peanut butter.
 

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I'd ask for one documented instance of tainted honey from a hobbiest. Then list all the documented instances you can find from inspected facilities for every other kind of food. They are obviously trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
 

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It should be compared to selling apples or oranges more than peanut butter.
That's our argument.

I'd ask for one documented instance of tainted honey from a hobbiest. Then list all the documented instances you can find from inspected facilities for every other kind of food. They are obviously trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
Our senator checked that out before submitting our bill. We got some better coverage in a news article from this morning.
http://www.bnd.com/2010/03/05/1160907/lawmaker-proposes-honey-of-a-bill.html
Luechtefeld said they checked with the state and there has never been a contamination problem reported with any honey.

Now that I've said all that....I personally disagree with not being inspected if your bottling 500 gallons....thats quite a bit of honey. Anyone bottling this much should have a place fixed to bottle it and needs most things required to pas inspection.....3,000 bears is not playing around!
We picked that value because our State Apiary Inspector put ISBA in contact with the Louisiana State Apiary Inspector and LA had passed an identical exemption last year. One value is as arbitrary as the next IMO, and no one is making a living off of 500 gallons a year before or after expenses.

ND
 

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There goes that apple to oranges again. The possibilty of the sky falling is there also. Should it be mandatory we all wear hardhats when outside of a building.
Oh, I forgot to add yesterday. Congratulations to you folks in Wisconsin for getting your "Pickle Bill" signed into law.

ND
 

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This is Just Showing us what Progressives in goverment want to do baby step us in to a all controling goverment.
 

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We have several Democrats AND Republicans that have co-sponsored this bill, at our requests. It's not ""right versus left", so please leave the political comments out of this.
 

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We have several Democrats AND Republicans that have co-sponsored this bill, at our requests. It's not ""right versus left", so please leave the political comments out of this.
i did not say right vs left i said progessive. and brenda if one brings up a bill thats being voted on then its politics, and I read the bill it a good one my coment is about the people that are against it, that is what my rant is about. and i still stand with my first post.
 

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A varied group of beekeepers are working together to pass this bill. It's being championed by IL. senators and representatives on both sides of the aisle.
Of course it's being voted on, that's the only way to change a law.
But we have both sides working together. It's called bipartisanship.
Sometimes it happens, despite snide political remarks.

There's a reason this forum has Tailgater, and a good reason why it's now private.
 
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