Raw Milk Sales

Advocacy ,

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association adamantly opposes the sale of beverage raw milk in
Wisconsin, due to the great health risks and economic implications of food-borne illnesses.

Health Risks:

Medical, public health and microbiology professionals recognize the substantial risk for serious
infectious diseases to occur with the consumption of unpasteurized milk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1998 through 2011,
consumption of raw milk triggered 148 outbreaks which resulted in 2,384 illnesses, 284
hospitalizations, and two deaths. Most of these illnesses were caused by Escherichia coli,
Campylobacter, Salmonella, or Listeria.

In Wisconsin, in September 2014, nearly 40 Durand high school students became severely ill
after consuming raw milk at dinner for the school's football team. In June 2011 in Racine, 16
fourth-graders and some family members became ill after they drank raw milk at a classmate's
birthday party.

Economic Threat:

In addition to concern for the health and safety of our neighbors, Wisconsin cheesemakers
recognize that any food-borne illness outbreak caused by raw milk poses an economic threat to
the state’s $43.4 billion dairy industry as a whole.

As the United States saw with the “Mad Cow Disease” outbreak in 2003, the perception of risk
associated with a food product can have a tremendous and long-lasting impact on industry
stability, and Wisconsin cannot afford to see our robust agriculture sector falter.

Please direct any questions to WCMA Communications and Policy Director Rebekah Sweeney
at rsweeney@wischeesemakers.org or by calling 608-286-1001. Thank you.