Supporters of a bill that would legalize the sales of unpasteurized milk in Wisconsin scored a victory on Tuesday. The Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues voted 3-2 to adopt a modified version of the raw milk measure, which included some additional safeguards.
As part of the amended changes, the state would create a new Grade 1 unpasteurized milk license and set requirements for regular sampling, record-keeping, labeling and state inspections every two years. The product must also be free of campylobacter, salmonella, specific strains of listeria and e. coli., and antibiotic drug residue.
Though this is a first step to getting legal approval to sell unpasteurized milk, some legislative leaders say the possibility of the bill becoming law still remains dim. Democrats on the committee voted against the bill yesterday, saying the amendment was a step in the right direction, but still does not protect the dairy industry in the event of a bacterial outbreak. It is unclear how the Assembly will act now that it has cleared a Senate committee.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from Gov. Scott Walker’s office reiterated that the bill would need to ‘contain the appropriate safeguards to protect public health and the integrity of the farming industry’ before he would consider signing it. He did not comment on the new revisions to the policy.
Currently 19 states allow direct sales of raw milk from dairy farmers to individuals. But attempts to make it legal in Nevada and Maine were both vetoed this year by their governors.