Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle today vetoed Senate Bill 434 that would have allowed state dairy producers to sell raw milk directly to consumers.
"I recognize that are strong feelings on both sides of this matter, but on balance, I must side with the interests of public health and safety of the dairy industry,” he said in his veto message. "I am listening to the unanimous voice of public health officials including leading doctors at the Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic and Gunderson Lutheran Health System who have found the sale of raw milk to have potentially harmful health effects.”
The state currently has a task force looking into the issue, and expects to finalize recommendations by mid summer. "This group will make certain that the concerns and interests on all sides are fully analyzed,” says Doyle.
Last week, Wisconsin's dairy industry launched a full court press
against the raw milk bill, calling on Governor Doyle to veto it. Typical responses from those opposed:
"From 1993 to 2006, 69 outbreaks of human infections linked to the consumption of unpasteurized milk were reported to the Centers for Disease Control. These outbreaks led to over 1,500 reported illnesses, nearly 200 hospitalizations and two deaths…. Signing Senate Bill 434 may unintentionally call into question the safety and reputation of Wisconsin's wholesome dairy products and the future of Wisconsin's dairy industry. We urge you to veto Senate Bill 434.” –Laurie Fischer, Executive Director, Wisconsin Dairy Business Association
To view Governor Doyle's complete veto message, click here