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Thursday, April 15, 2010

 3:24 PM 

Senate backs raw milk bill

The state Senate has passed a bill legalizing the sale of raw milk by a 25-8 vote.

Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, spoke against the proposal, saying that the bill presented a union between the extreme right and left -- what she dubbed the "teabag" and "granola" lobbies -- at the expense of the safety of Wisconsinites.

"Public health has been beleaguered for a long time. We don't take public health very seriously until we don't have it," Robson said, noting a number of medical and farm groups opposed to the legislation. "Government gets involved when they know there's a significant impact to public health."

But the bill's sponsor, Sen. Pat Kreitlow, D-Eau Claire, said the measure would allow farmers to "continue a tradition that has served them well."

"Let's not kid ourselves. Raw milk ... will have inherent risks," Kreitlow said. "And this bill, whether it passes or not, will not change that."

The bill must still pass the Assembly; Speaker Mike Sheridan said this morning that he would wait to hear from his caucus before deciding to move forward with the bill.


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