Wisconsin News

Wisconsin legislature debates legalizing raw milk sales

LA CROSSE, WI - Should farmer's be allowed to sell milk before it's pasteurized? That's a question that's working its way through the Wisconsin legislature.

Raw milk sales are legal in 30 states across the nation.

The bill in question would only allow direct sales from farmers, but not in grocery stores.

Supporters say there are not enough facts out there to limit concerns of the commodity, especially in the dairy state. "There's a complete absence of any facts that that is an issue, nobody's died from drinking unpasteurized milk in 50 years," said Vince Hundt, a raw milk producer from Coon Valley.

"You can go into any place that sells sushi and buy raw fish, you can eat a rare steak, you can buy those sorts of products, we allow that to happen, why can't we allow for the sales of unpasteurized milk?," said State Rep. Chris Danou.

Opponents of the bill argue that raw milk can be unsafe, and sales could jeopardize the integrity of the state's dairy industry.

"If you've been drinking pasteurized milk, and then you drink raw milk, you have different antigens in that milk, and that can make you sick," said Jim Mlsna, a dairy farmer from Hillsboro.

"We want people to enjoy safe, nutritious, could even be organic milk, as long as it's pasteurized," said Shawn Pfaff from the Safe Milk Coalition.


A similar bill was vetoed four years ago by then Governor Jim Doyle.

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