Plans to legalize raw milk sales draw a crowdAn estimated 500 people showed up in Eau Claire Wednesday to testify on a bill that would legalize and regulate the sale of raw milk and other milk products.
By: Mary Jo Wagner, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
An estimated 500 people showed up in Eau Claire Wednesday to testify on a bill that would legalize and regulate the sale of raw milk and other milk products. Many at the hearing were sporting white paper hats with “Freedom” written on one side and “Milk” on the other.
Madison resident Margo Redmond said raw milk is safe, contains good bacteria, and helps controls bad bacteria in the body.
State agriculture, public health and family services experts were outnumbered by the crowd, but they detailed the dangers from consuming raw milk. Veterinarian Steve Paulson says raw dairy products are directly linked to at least 12 major disease outbreaks from 2000 to 2008. And Food and Drug Administration testimony included warnings that raw milk is inherently dangerous and should not be consumed by anyone, for any reason.
Retired Michigan physician and scientist Dr. Ted Beals disagreed. He replied that if raw milk had been hazardous to individuals in large numbers of communities consuming it, it would have disappeared long ago.
And it’s a matter of survival for farmer Wayne Brunner. He said he was making a good living selling raw milk for up to $5.00 a gallon before he was forced to stop.
Passage of the bill to legalize the sale of raw milk is politically uncertain since there’s not much time left before the legislature adjourns for the year.