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Raw milk debate heats up again at State Capitol

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The debate over raw milk is heating up at the State Capitol again Wednesday.

The Senate's Rural Issues committee was scheduled to start a public hearing at 2 p.m. -- and a large crowd was expected. 

Lawmakers of both parties have signed onto Senate Republican Glenn Grothman's bill. The West Bend lawmaker would allow farmers to directly sell their unpasteurized milk, as long as they register with the state. 

Seventeen groups have gone on record opposing the bill, including the State Medical Society and the Dairy Business Association. Only two groups have registered to lobby in favor of the measure -- the state's Raw Milk Association, and the Wisconsin Farmers Union. 

Supporters say raw milk is safe, healthy, and better tasting than pasteurized milk. Opponents disagree -- and they say even one disease outbreak from raw milk would ruin Wisconsin's world famous dairy industry. 

That latter reason was cited by former Governor Jim Doyle when he vetoed the last effort to pass raw milk legislation in 2010.