Bill Would Allow Sale of Potentially Harmful Raw Milk
This week Jeremy Bruecker, field representative for Dairy Farmers of America's Central Area, spoke before a hearing of the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues against S.B. 236, which would allow the sale of unpasteurized (raw) milk products to consumers in Wisconsin.
"Raw milk is a confusing term to customers, and more important, a dangerous term," Bruecker said. "Raw milk is unpasteurized milk that could include many harmful and dangerous germs and pathogens. It can contain bacteria, viruses and parasites."
Under S.B. 236, a dairy farmer would register with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and then be authorized to sell unpasteurized milk and milk products directly to consumers on their farm..
"Pasteurization is the most proven way to ensure that harmful and life threatening bacteria and other pathogens are removed from the milk supply," Bruecker said. "Harmful germs usually don't change the look, taste, or smell of milk, so only when milk has been pasteurized can you be confident that these germs are not present."
Bruecker acknowledged there are several claims of supposed benefits from drinking raw milk. He noted that none of the proclaimed benefits have been substantiated by medical literature.
"The entire industry suffers when consumers become sick from drinking raw milk. I urge you to oppose the effort to allow for raw milk sales in Wisconsin," Bruecker said, urging sound opposition of S.B. 236 to protect dairy farmers' interests. Bruecker and DFA were joined by others, including the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition, made up of health, consumer and agricultural interests.