Lawmakers in 'America's Dairyland' Move to Allow Farmers to Sell Raw Milk

Raw milk might be soon be for sale at a dairy farm near you.

The Wisconsin Assembly voted 60-35 early Friday for a bill that would allow dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized milk despite safety concerns.

The bill, if signed by Gov. Jim Doyle, would allow the sales through the end of 2011 while lawmakers work on a more permanent solution.

The Food and Drug Administration opposes the sale of raw milk, saying it may contain harmful bacteria that can sicken and even kill. Supporters say raw milk tastes better and has health benefits.

Rep. Phil Garthwaite of Dickeyville said legalizing raw milk sales will help small farmers.

But Rep. Marlin Schneider of Wisconsin Rapids warned the bill puts the entire dairy industry at risk because one outbreak of disease would taint Wisconsin cheese and milk.