The dairy state’s ban on margarine may soon be history. The AP reports that a quirky Wisconsin law intended to protect the state’s dairy industry by making it illegal for restaurants to serve margarine as a replacement for butter is being targeted for repeal.
The 44-year-old law that’s little known to most diners is celebrated by some as a colorful part of the Dairy State’s past, even inspiring the state Historical Society to sell T-shirts reprinting the language of the law on a yellowish, buttered-colored background. But the law, so marginalized that the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers doesn’t even refer to it in a timeline of significant action affecting the industry, has a loophole: Restaurants can abide by it simply by serving both butter and margarine.
The butter-only policy has favored the state’s massive dairy industry in state institutions, like schools, hospitals and the prison system, where about 20,000 inmates are supplied only butter, the Daily Reporter reports.
The existing ban is a softened version of an 1895 prohibition against the manufacture and sale of butter-colored margarine, which was so strict thatone man was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1910 for selling it, according to Madison’s Daily Reporter.
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