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Wisconsin study finds big dairies produce cleaner milk

By DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press

Monday, September 5, 2011

(09-05) 00:25 PDT MILWAUKEE (AP) —

With buying from small, local, family-run farms becoming more popular, the results of a new study from Wisconsin could be surprising: It found that milk from big dairies is cleaner than that from small ones.

The lead researcher was Steve Ingham, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who now works for the state agriculture department. He says he looked at cell and bacteria levels use to evaluate a cow’s health and a farm’s cleanliness and found them lower in milk from big farms.

All the farms met federal safety standards.

Wisconsin Farmers Union spokesman Tom Quinn dismissed the results, saying a truly meaningful study of milk quality would have to evaluate factors like taste and nutrition.

The study was published last month in the Journal of Dairy Science.

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