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Rep. Danou Already Calling for Veto Override on Raw Milk
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/20/2010

One of the co-sponsors of the raw milk bill says he's so passionate about the issue that he may try to organize an override of Governor Jim Doyle's veto of the measure. Rep. Chris Danou blamed 'special interests' for convincing the governor that the dairy industry and overall health of Wisconsin citizens would be at risk if unpasteurized milk was allowed to be sold directly to consumers. Doyle killed the bill on Wednesday after consulting with public health officials and dairy industry leaders during recent weeks.

"This is a classic example of special interest able to exercise their influence, their undue influence they have on the capitol and really abligate the will of the people and I am particularly disappointed by the public health community, I think they abdicated their responsibilities to organizations that do not have public health concerns in mind," Danou said.

The Trempealeau Democrat says he's not optimistic about the override going through, especially since it would require a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the legislature. The original Senate vote was 25-8, but the Assembly approved it 60-35--which is shy of what would be needed in a successful override.

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker would also have to allow the override to be considered. A spokesperson from his office said that would be unlikely.

Meanwhile, the bill's other co-sponsor was also disappointed in the final outcome. Senator Pat Kreitlow from Chippewa Falls says he feels that the state is treating consumers and producers who want to do business as 'criminals,' when all they want to do is buy or sell fresh milk off the farm.

"We introduced this bill because family farmers simply asked for the right to sell their products directly to consumers, a right almost every other business has," Kreitlow said. "They agreed to regulation, they agreed to aggressive testing of their product, and they even agreed to a provision that would force them to fight this all over again in a year. These families, the backbone of Wisconsin agriculture, deserve better."

Both lawmakers promise to reintroduce the bill in the next legislative session.

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