“Nationally, our dairy industry benefits from a very high degree of consumer confidence – confidence built in large part due to the excellent food safety record of milk and dairy products. In fact, current statistics estimate only 1‐2% of reported foodborne outbreaks are attributed to dairy products. However, of those, over 70% have been attributed to raw milk and inappropriately‐aged raw milk cheeses. A single case of illness – even one caused by a well-intentioned dairy farmer – that is attributed to raw milk or raw dairy products in Wisconsin would likely have an adverse effect on consumer confidence in and consumption of all healthful, nutrient‐rich dairy foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese.”
“While choice is an important value, it should not pre‐empt consumers’ well‐being. Legalizing the state‐wide sale of raw milk is an unnecessary risk to consumer safety. Therefore, we strongly urge you to oppose Senate Bill 236,” the letter said.
The two organizations made a similar plea against liberalizing raw milk sales in 2010, when former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was presented with a bill that he ultimately vetoed.