Madison – State Representative Elijah Behnke (R-Oconto) issued the following statement regarding legislation he authored with Senator Duey Stroebel relating to the sale of unpasteurized dairy products:
“In Wisconsin, you can regularly buy and consume raw ground hamburger from Brazil, raw oysters from Washington, raw tuna from Japan, and raw romaine lettuce from California. Current Wisconsin law regarding unprocessed dairy, however, sends the message that we do not trust our dairy farmers to produce a sanitary, unprocessed product, and that we can’t trust consumers to make an informed health decision about the dairy products they buy.
“Wisconsin dairy farmers have access to better safety testing technology than ever before, including rapid on-farm testing. Our farmers are acutely aware that producing a safe, healthy product is vital to the success of their farms. Many consumers prefer raw dairy for a variety of reasons including taste, nutrition, and health benefits.
“This bill provides farmers with the ability to sell unpasteurized dairy products through additional channels, accompanied by more robust guidelines and testing requirements compared to any previous proposal authorizing the sale of unpasteurized dairy products in Wisconsin. It is long past time we trust our farmers and consumers with the sale of unprocessed dairy in America’s Dairyland.”