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.
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