Grocer Says State Needs to Restrict Cold Medicines

Increasing fears of the movement of methamphetamine labs to Wisconsin are prompting lawmakers and grocers to consider curbing the sale of pseudoephedrine.

But one grocer says restrictions are only half the battle.

Sentry Foods Hilldale has voluntarily put restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in meth.

President Tim Metcalfe says, "We're doing that to be responsible and to try to get in front of this issue."

In front of meth's movement to Wisconsin.

"I wouldn't be naïve to think it's not in Wisconsin," says Metcalfe, "It is here and it is in Madison and it is in Milwaukee, maybe we're not hearing about it yet and maybe it isn't as big as it is in some other areas but it is moving this way."

That's why the state legislature is looking at restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine.

In Minnesota, a bill is moving through the legislature that would restrict the sale of the drug.

Illinois has already limited the sale of the cold-remedy and requires a signature and ID when purchasing it.

And the governor of Iowa is expected to sign legislation Monday that will force customers to get most products from a pharmacist.

"We [grocers] recognize this is a social issue and the sale of Sudafed is not as important as getting out in front of this before it affects us," continues Metcalfe.

He says restrictions are good start but not the solution.

"I strongly believe education and getting the word out to parents so they can talk to their children is probably one of the biggest issues, to get people to be aware of this because I don't think people know."

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager plans to hold a summit on methamphetamine and discuss strategies in combating the problem next week in Appleton.


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