August 01, 2010

 

 No raw milk sales in Wisconsin; new website focuses on risks

posted July 18, 2010
 

The governor of the Dairy State has vetoed a bill that would allow farms to sell unpasteurized milk to consumers, while a group of veterinarians and other scientists recently created a website focusing on the health risks of raw milk.

In his veto message for S.B. 464, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle cited nearly unanimous opposition from public health organizations, including the Wisconsin VMA.

The bill would have required farmers who sell unpasteurized milk to conduct monthly tests for pathogens, but Doyle wrote that the tests would not ensure that the milk was free of contaminants. He noted that California, in allowing the sale of raw milk, requires a more comprehensive testing approach.

Doyle added that the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consum​er Protection created a Raw Milk Working Group in January to review what legal and regulatory framework might allow for sale of unpasteurized milk to consumers without compromising public health.

The new website on unpasteurized milk, www.realrawmilkfacts.com, resulted from discussions following sessions on raw milk at the 2009 AVMA Annual Convention and a 2009 symposium on raw milk by the International Association for Food Protection.

Many participants saw a need for a website to address the complex issues surrounding the science and policy on raw milk. The resulting website will be a clearinghouse for studies, presentations, commentaries, regulations, and position statements on the topic.

Scientists and health educators from universities, government, industry, and trade organizations developed and reviewed the content for the website. They also solicited comments and materials from consumers of raw milk.