Senator Vinehout Announces Compromise on Raw Milk Dilemma

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Mar 18, 2010 No Comments ›› admin

March 17, 2010

(MADISON) Limited sale of raw or unpasteurized milk would be legal in the state under a compromise passed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education. The bill creates temporary sale and safety standards while Legislators work through the final rules over the next year.

“It is clear consumers will continue to buy raw milk regardless of whether or not the sale is legal,” said Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Kathleen Vinehout. “Our common sense approach allows limited on-farm sales of fluid milk while increasing protections for the public’s health.”

“We heard an out-pouring of support for the sale of raw milk,” said Vinehout.

Vinehout chaired a ten and a half hour hearing in Eau Claire attended by over 600 people from all over the state.

The compromise puts in place interim standards while a requested Legislative Study Committee works through permanent rules this summer.  Under the amendment brokered by Vinehout, raw milk will be tested for pathogens; farmers will register as raw milk producers and maintain records of sales.  A warning label on raw milk containers will disclose the potential hazards of consuming raw milk. 

“We sought to achieve a balance between citizens’ desire for a natural but risky product and public health concerns regarding potential disease outbreaks. This arrangement will allow family farmers to sell unpasteurized milk directly on the farm while following responsible safety measures,” concluded Vinehout.


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