A Wisconsin lawmakers who believes local dairy producers should have the right to sell their raw milk says he’s not giving up on his proposal to make it legal. State Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend and two other Senate Republicans are co-sponsoring a bill that would end most state regulations for licensed producers who want to provide unpasteurized milk to the public.
Grothman said he thinks the measure will pass next year. Similar legislation was being drafted earlier this year by Rep. Don Pridemore of Harford.
The bill would allow producers to sell raw milk if they had a special license from the state, and if the customer brought their own sanitized container. The farm would also be required to hold a Grade A permit to be eligible.
The issue has come back into the forefront after a judge recently ruled to block a Calumet County farm from selling raw milk through a membership program designed to make customers part-owners of their operation.
Last year, former Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a proposal that would have allowed farmers to sell their raw milk if there were certain safeguards in place to protect the public. But Governor Scott Walker said in January of this year that he would likely sign a similar bill if it were to come across his desk.
Supporters have long claimed that raw milk tastes better, contains bacteria that helps fight disease and is more natural. But opponents say the entire dairy industry can suffer if just one illness or death from the product were spotlighted in the media.