It’s looking like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker may go the way of former Gov. Jim Doyle when it comes to legalizing the sale of unpasteurized raw milk.
Walker’s most recent comments on the topic indicate he, like Doyle, isn’t going to do it unless the medical profession and dairy industry voice support for it.
“I'll be listening to the people in the profession... in particular health professionals," Walker told the Associated Press. "If they can give us a sense that the safety and well-being of consumers of dairy products can be guaranteed, that would be a key threshold for us."
Walker’s comments were included in a recent article by the Wisconsin Ag Connection.
The Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition, a group comprised of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, is lobbying against the bill.
“We are opposed to the bill because we think the pasteurization process is the way to make dairy products safe and to maintain the integrity of the state’s dairy industry,” said Shawn Pfaff, a lobbyist for the coalition and mayor of Fitchburg.
Doyle vetoed a bill similar to Senate Bill 236 in 2010 that would have allowed for direct farmer-to-consumer sales of raw milk. Neither bill would allow for raw milk to be sold in retail stores.
The bill now being debated is sponsored by Republican Sens. Glenn Grothman and Dale Schultz. Two public hearings, one in Madison and one in La Crosse, were held on it in the past week.