Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman is attempting to legalize raw milk sales. Former Governor Jim Doyle banned raw milk sales in 2010. Even though it has been illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in the state for three years, debate on the topic has remained heated.
Amish dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger has been fighting against the raw milk ban since its inception. The trial against the Amish farmer who refused to adhere to the unpasteurized dairy products ban is ongoing. Department of Agriculture officials raided Hershberger’s farm and shut down his store last. He has been charged with four misdemeanors related to selling raw dairy products.
Senator Grothman is planning on introducing a bill to overturn the former governor’s raw milk ban in the near future. A similar piece of milk-related legislation was reportedly drafted last year, but was never brought up for a floor vote.
The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin has joined the fight to overturn the raw milk ban. Party Chairman Terry Gray recently released a statement chastising the law which prevents residents from drinking or buying “real” milk. In the release, Gray maintained that the unpasteurized milk ban represents the power that dairy corporations hold in America.
An excerpt from the release reads:
“Government health officials claim that all uncooked animal products are inherently dangerous, even if our forefathers seem to have thrived on raw milk up until the 1950s. Fresh dairy proponents insist that unpasteurized milk is tastier, healthier, and easier to digest.”
A recent Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition report stated that almost 120 raw milk health outbreaks have happened in America since 1998. The coalition used US Center for Disease Control statistics in the report. The group also noted that the two deaths and more than 2,100 unpasteurized milk illnesses had also reportedly occurred during the same time span.
Despite the statistical claims, Senator Grothman is forging on with his support of raw milk. Supporters of the all-natural dairy remind consumers that proper handling, storing, and preparation of unpasteurized make all the difference when it comes to illness – just as it does with most food and beverage items. The Wisconsin state senator also pointed out that 15 other states are currently considering raw milk bills.
When discussing why he supports the right for citizens to consume raw milk, Senator Grothman said, “We can help Wisconsin family farmers and health conscious consumers with just a little bit of common sense and passage of a real milk bill.”
Some dairy farmers who feel that properly used raw milk is safe are still apprehensive about selling the unpasteurized version. Fears about how a single death might impact the entire dairy industry weighs heavily on the minds of some dairy farmers.
Do you think Americans are entitled to decide for themselves whether or not to drink raw milk?
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