5.19.2010

A blow to Milk and Personal Freedom

I've commented before that I think raw milk is perfectly fine and really no danger to consumers. I still think that it has far more to do with personal freedom and choice than it does public health and safety. I was happy when the legislature passed a bill allowing its sale and even more happy when I read stories like these that Gov. Doyle was going to sign the legislation.

Silly me. I took Gov. Doyle at his word.

Today, the Governor vetoed SB 434, the Raw Milk bill. In his veto message he cites public health concerns and caves to the dairy industry and public health "advocates." Funny thing is that Gov. Doyle had previously stated that "Unless there is something that's going to surprise me when I really get into the bill, I would assume I will sign it." He also made statements that the he believed the public health protections in the bill seemed to balance the concerns of both sides of the issue. It would be nice to know what "surprised him."

My biggest complaint remains that this is pointless regulation. There are literally thousands of people throughout the state who were raised on raw milk with no ill-effects. While the overwhelming majority of people in the state will continue to consume regular, pasteurized milk, there is no compelling reason to deny the few consumers who prefer raw milk to use it. I strongly suspect that those people already producing and consuming it will continue to do so, regardless of the Governor's veto. That being the case, the Governor (using his own logic) has placed raw milk consumers in greater danger because the production sites will not be subject to regular inspections such as the kind that would have occurred under the bill.

But I guess that really doesn't matter. We need the state to save us from ourselves.