Michigan Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk Workgroup Launches Web site
October 9, 2008: The Michigan Fresh Unprocessed Whole (FUW) Milk Workgroup has launched its new Web site as a public display of the group’s progress in addressing the question, “Where do we want to be in 3 to 5 years on access to fresh unprocessed whole milk?”
The Michigan FUW Milk Workgroup was established in January 2007 and represents an array of perspectives relative to the issues at hand and the group’s purpose. Members include consumers who seek to ensure access to raw milk, producers who want to provide a healthy source of raw milk, a “Grade A” milk industry representative, and food safety regulators who are looking to balance access and choice issues with protection of the food supply. Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) and Michigan State University (MSU) serve as facilitators and resource providers to guide the dialogue and deliberations of the Workgroup.
Since it inception, the Workgroup has met monthly to discuss topics and questions and share resources and expertise. Although the product is generally referred to as “raw milk,” the Workgroup established that the product they would be discussing would be called “fresh unprocessed whole milk.” The goal of the Michigan FUW Milk Workgroup is to establish clear direction with clear public policy regarding access to fresh unprocessed whole milk and adjusting the law accordingly, if needed.
To address the FUW milk issue, the Workgroup developed a set of topics and questions to allow for an orderly and thorough discussion. The list includes: History of FUW Milk; Benefits and Values; Risks; Risk and Benefit Management; Liability; Benefit and Risk Choices; Current Government Roles; Government Policy Options; and Consumer Choice Options.
Under each topic, a set of questions was developed to organize the process. As the Workgroup addresses each topic, consensus summaries will be added to the Web site. Following discussions of these topics and questions, the Workgroup will address other considerations. It is expected that work will continue over the next 12 to18 months and, because it is a work in progress, the Workgroup agrees that some of the topics and questions may be modified. Read about the Michigan FUW Milk Workgroup and see their discussion summaries at www.miffs.org/MIfuwmilk.
“Now folks who are interested in fresh unprocessed whole milk can follow the Workgroup’s progress and provide feedback,” said Elaine Brown, MIFFS Executive Director, who serves as the Workgroup facilitator.
The Workgroup welcomes feedback via e-mail regarding the topics and questions, process, and other resources and expertise that will aid the discussion. Feedback will be sent to the Workgroup for consideration. If you believe there are topics missing from this Workgroup task, please suggest them by sending feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.