UPDATE: Raw milk debate reignited in Wis. Legislature

UPDATED Wednesday, September 11, 2013 --- 2:50 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Proponents of legalizing the sales of raw milk in Wisconsin are trying to convince the Legislature to loosen restrictions in "America's Dairyland."

Raw milk supporters packed a hearing Wednesday before a state Senate committee, with many of them wearing hats that said "Milk Freedom."

Opponents from the state's dairy industry and medical community formed a coalition to fight the measure, saying it's a threat to public health and Wisconsin's $26 billion dairy industry.

Ron Buholzer, president of Klondike Cheese in Monroe, says legalizing raw milk puts the reputation of Wisconsin's entire dairy industry at stake.

Bill sponsor Sen. Glenn Grothman says just like eating sushi or a medium rare hamburger, drinking raw milk poses little risk and is actually healthier and better tasting before it's pasteurized.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 --- 9:17 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The debate over legalizing raw milk sales in Wisconsin is being reignited in the Legislature.

A bipartisan bill allowing for the sale of unpasteurized milk in "America's Dairyland" was scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday, and a large coalition of opponents from the dairy industry and beyond are expected to testify against it.

Seventeen groups, including the Dairy Business Association and the Wisconsin Medical Society, are on the record as opposing the bill. Only two have registered to lobby in support. They are the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Wisconsin Raw Milk Association.

Opponents fear that allowing farmers to sell raw milk directly to customers will put the state's $26 billion dairy industry in jeopardy. Proponents argue raw milk is safe, tastes better and is healthier than when pasteurized.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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