, ,

Wisconsin Republicans Pursue Truth-In-Labeling Bills

State Senate Committee Held Hearing Thursday

Close-up of architectural detail on the exterior of the Wisconsin State Capitol rotonda
Laura Zimmerman/WPR

Wisconsin Republicans are pursuing changes in state law to ban labeling food as meat, milk or dairy if they don’t contain those products.

A state Senate committee held a hearing Thursday on the proposals that bill sponsors argue is needed to protect Wisconsin’s agriculture and dairy industries from what they argue is misleading food labeling.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has pursued similar legislation at the federal level.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

One bill would ban labeling a beverage as milk unless it comes from cows, goats and certain other animals. Another would prohibit selling a product as cream, yogurt or cheese unless it included dairy.

At a WisPolitics.com luncheon, state Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he needed to talk to the bill’s sponsors for more information, but that it “sounds like a good idea.”

“I would support the dairy industry, 100 percent. If this bill would have an effect on supporting Wisconsin’s dairy industry, it would be great,” Fitzgerald said.

Those would only take effect if 10 other Midwest states approve similar bans by 2031.

A third would ban labeling or selling a product as meat, bacon or similar term unless it included the flesh of an animal. Eleven other states already have such a ban.