Wisconsin Governor Unlikely to Sign Raw Milk Bill in January 2014

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is unlikely to sign the raw milk bill that was passed on November 12, 2013, according to statements he made during a December 3rd speech at the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association’s annual meeting.

Referring to the pathogens found in raw milk, which many believe can be dangerous, Walker told the dairy association that he would not approve any bill that put children at risk. The dairy association has asked the governor to veto the bill, which would make it legal for dairy farmers to sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to consumers on the farm.

The Wisconsin Legislature will resume on January 14, 2014, at which point the raw milk bill will be eligible for floor action.

Read more here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Share

Wisconsin Senate Committee Passes Raw Milk Legislation

On November 12, 2013, the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues passed Senate Bill 236, which would allow the sale of raw milk directly to consumers on the farm.

The Bill makes several requirements of the farms, including:

  • Farms selling raw milk must register with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
  • Farms must keep records of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of raw milk customers.
  • Farmers must take daily milk samples that must be available to health officials.
  • Raw milk must be free of pathogens, as determined by monthly tests, and meet bacterial and somatic cell counts.

Unfortunately, people on both sides of the issue have complaints about the bill. Some raw milk advocates believe the requirements could make it too expensive for small farms to sell raw milk. Some raw milk opponents believe the bill is too relaxed and are unlikely to support farm inspections once every two years when once every six months is standard for other dairy businesses.

Current Wisconsin law prohibits the sale of raw milk, so the passage of this bill is a small yet significant step. Wisconsin is the heart of America’s Dairyland, and “…has been at the center of the national raw milk debate for several years, [so] the current legislation will be watched closely by both sides of the issue in other states.” The bill passed the committee by 3-2 and now goes to the full Senate for vote.

Sources:

http://www.jsonline.com/business/wisconsin-bill-would-legalize-raw-milk-with-caveats-b99139658z1-231516791.html

http://www.jsonline.com/business/senate-committee-passes-measure-to-legalize-raw-milk-sales-b99140829z1-231603271.html

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

Share

Dairy Industry Groups Don’t Speak on Behalf of All Dairy Farmers

The Wisconsin Senate is considering a bill that would allow small, local farms to sell raw milk so long as it is labeled as such, provided in a clean container, and complies with DATCP rules for grade A milk regarding appearance and odor, bacterial count, temperature, and other factors.

Unsurprisingly, the FDA, Wisconsin Public Health Association, and the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments oppose the bill. The Dairy Business Association and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association also oppose the bill. Most recently, the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition, a group made up of public health officials, dairy processor groups, and dairy farmers also opposed the bill. All groups cited raw milk being “unsafe for human consumption” as their primary reason for banning the sale of raw milk in the state. Continue reading

Share