Wisconsinites challenge Irish butter ban

AP and WiG reports

In butter-loving Wisconsin, a ban on Irish butter has sparked a fight.

A handful of Wisconsin residents has filed a lawsuit challenging a 1953 state law that bans the sale of Kerrygold Irish butter, or any other butter that hasn’t been graded for quality.

Tired of trekking across state lines to stock up, the plaintiffs say it’s unconstitutional to require that all butter sold in Wisconsin undergo a “government-mandated ‘taste test.”” Wisconsin is the only state with such a stringent rule.

Kerrygold Irish butter comes from grass-fed cows and is said to have superior health benefits to butter that doesn’t. Few Wisconsin dairies produce such butter.  Nordic Creamer is an exception.

Grazing animals have from 3 to 5 times more CLA than animals fed grain in feedlots. Butter from grass-fed cows also contains more vitamins E, A, and beta-carotene. Dairy products from grass-fed cows also provide K2, a rare vitamin that helps prevent calcium buildup in consumers’ arteries.

The Japanese have approved vitamin K2 as a treatment for osteoporosis, saying it reduces the occurrence of new bone fractures and helps maintain bone density mass.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The conservative legal group says the issue is one of economic liberty, not consumer safety.

The lawsuit was filed against the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The agency says it has to uphold state law.

Wisconsinites are  accustomed to dairy protectionism taking legal precedence over their rights as consumers. For years, margarine was banned from sale in the state.

Even today, margarine may not be substituted for butter in restaurants unless requested by the customer, and butter substitutes are not allowed to be served in state prisons.