Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Wisconsin May Soon Allow Easier Sale of Raw Milk to Consumers

Got raw milk? In Wisconsin, the answer may soon be yes. Or not.

Gov. Jim Doyle, who has since reportedly wavered, indicated early on that he would sign a bill liberalizing the sale of raw (unpasteurized) milk in the dairy state. If he does so, farmers would be more easily able to sell raw milk directly to consumers, much as Minnesota farmers "occasionally" can. They'd need a state permit to do so.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, Doyle told reporters late last week, "I certainly have heard a lot, and I think people know that the public health experts and the dairy industry are almost if not unanimous in their opposition to the raw milk bill. I'm listening to that very carefully. But I know that there are legislators, and I've talked to quite a few of them, who feel strongly the other way. So I need to balance that out."

Dairy industry groups do not like the law, nor do public-health advocates. They say that raw milk is a potential food safety risk because it can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella. Pasteurization (heating of the milk) kills bacteria. The industry is also worried about potential bad publicity should someone get ill on dairy-state dairy.