Gov. Doyle vetoes raw milk bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gov. Doyle vetoes raw milk bill

MADISON (WKOW) -- A rally by dairy farmers to make the sale of raw milk legal, has gone sour.

Governor Jim Doyle vetoed the bill that was passed by the state Legislature.

In a statement Doyle said, I recognize there is strong feelings on both sides of this matter, but on balance, I must side with the interest of public health and the safety of the dairy industry.

Opponents of raw milk applauded the veto.

"Our concern is for cheese makers and dairy farmers is what if an outbreak to occur when someone gets sick and what is the impact on the brand in Wisconsin," said Shawn Pfaff, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association.

"This whole bill involved private transactions, this was never about selling raw milk in the general market place," said Chippewa Falls Senator Pat Kreitlow.

Raw milk supporters say unpasteurized milk has more nutrients and tastes better.

Kreitlow, a Democrat, says the bill would have put tougher regulations on farmers who sell it.

They wouldn't have been able to advertise beyond on site, they would have to abide by the testing requirements, he said.

Kreitlow says it would have to be sold by the farmer on the farm and would need to be clearly labeled.

Lawmakers tell us its unlikely they'll challenge the veto because they don't have the votes.

19 states already allow the direct sale of raw milk, and even though Wisconsin doesn't.

Farm groups that support raw milk say people still find ways to get it.

"The question is if its happening anyway, shouldn't we regulate them? said Mark Kastel of the Cornucopia Institute.

Supporters of raw milk say they believe the bill will turn up again next session. They hope a new Governor will give it a chance of passing.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Jim Doyle has vetoed the raw milk bill.

According to the Governor's office, Doyle vetoed Senate Bill 434 in its entirety, in order to protect the health of Wisconsin citizens and the state's dairy industry. Governor Doyle issued the following statement regarding his action on the raw milk bill:

"I recognize that there are strong feelings on both sides of this matter, but on balance, I must side with the interests of public health and the safety of the dairy industry.

"I am listening to the unanimous voice of public health professionals including leading doctors at the Marshfield Clinic and Gundersen Lutheran Health System who have found the sale of raw milk to have potentially harmful health effects.

"I also have to protect the safety of the dairy industry, which is critical to our state economy. We have worked successfully over the last seven years to modernize Wisconsin's dairy industry. An outbreak of disease from the consumption of raw milk could harm our reputation for providing healthy dairy products, and damage the entire industry. 

"A group of experts will continue to study the question of whether or not the state should allow and regulate the sale of unpasteurized milk in the future. This group will make certain that the concerns and interests on all sides are fully analyzed."

Members of the coalition who supported the Governor's veto of the raw milk bill say they commend the Governor for his action and for his strong support of the state's $26.5 billion dairy industry and for the public health of the state's residents especially children.

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