MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Opponents of raw milk sales in Wisconsin will be much more organized than the first time lawmakers tried to approve the product.
Fifteen health and agricultural groups have formed what they call the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition. They’ve asked lawmakers not to co-sponsor a bill being circulated by Senate Republican Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Assembly Republican Don Pridemore of Hartford. It would allow dairy producers to sell raw milk to consumers from their farms – similar to a bill former Governor Jim Doyle vetoed last year.
Doyle hinted he would sign the measure after both houses passed it. And only then did he get a full-court press from the farm and health groups who fear that Wisconsin’s $26.5 billion dairy industry will collapse if just one person gets sick from drinking raw milk sold in the Badger State.
This time, those groups are organized even before a second bill can be introduced. Supporters of raw milk have long contended that raw milk tastes better and can fight diseases. But Shawn Pfaff of the new health and dairy coalition says the supporters use data that’s unfounded and inaccurate.
The group also said 18 people got sick while drinking raw milk in Michigan last year – and 35 Wisconsinites were ill after having cheese or milk from unpasteurized sources in 2009.