Wisconsin meat & dairy labeling bills set for Senate committee vote

Legislation to restrict artificial dairy and meat products from using terms like meat and milk is moving quickly through the Wisconsin Legislature. 

State Senator Howard Marklein tells Brownfield his three-bill package introduced last month would give Wisconsin authority to enforce what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has so far ignored. “If we can get this thing passed in Wisconsin, I think it puts a little bit more pressure on the federal government, that maybe they take some action in enforcing what’s on the books already.”

Marklein says his legislation was overwhelmingly supported by ag groups during a recent public hearing, and only one plant-based food group spoke against the bills.  He says there are similar laws in some other states. “I think it’s about ten states that have a meat labeling legislation on their books, so we would not be the first one with meat labeling. When it comes to milk, there’s a couple of other states that have something, and on the dairy products which would be our cheese, yogurt, and those kinds of foods, we’re the only one that would have any kind of anything on our books for that.”

Marklein says the Senate bills, SB463, SB464, and SB466 will get a vote in the Senate Ag Committee on December 18th, and he’s hopeful the Assembly will also support the package.

Marklein spoke to Brownfield at the Professional Dairy Producers Dairy Insights Summit in Madison, Wisconsin Thursday.

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