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State Ag Groups Part of Effort to Stop Another Raw Milk Bill
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/01/2013

A group of state farm and health groups are coming together to urge lawmakers not to support another bill that would legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk. Calling themselves the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition, the organizations claim that there's no sure way to make raw milk safe and that it should not be allowed for public consumption.

"Studies and public health outbreaks make clear that raw milk can cause people to become ill," the coalition said in a release on Thursday. "Doctors, public health leaders and microbiology professionals recognize the substantial risk for serious infectious diseases to occur with the consumption of unpasteurized milk."

The group further stated that there is no scientific evidence of any health benefits from raw milk consumption. And they cited figures from the U.S. Center for Disease Control that said nearly 120 raw milk health outbreaks have occurred in the United States since 1998, which included over 2,100 illnesses and two deaths.

Last year, Rep. Chris Danou of Trempealeau co-authored legislation with State Sen. Glenn Grothman to allow raw milk sales in the state after former Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a similar measure during the previous legislative session. Their latest proposal was not brought up for a vote on the floor.

Supporters of the movement say their product tastes better and is more natural. Several producers are also facing legal challenges from the state because of their refusal to stop selling their unpasteurized dairy products to the public.

Members of the new coalition include the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin Medical Society, WALHDAB, Wisconsin Public Health Association, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, AMPI, Cooperative Network, Dairy Business Association, Foremost Farms USA, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Dairy Product Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Grocers Association and Wisconsin Insurance Alliance.

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