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Wisconsin Goes to Court Over Kerrygold Irish Butter

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Wisconsin residents willing to sue for Kerrygold butter

Wisconsin is the only state in the U.S. that bars the sale of Kerrygold butter, among other European brands, and this week several Wisconsinites decided they would not stand for that, and now the state is being sued.

According to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin requires butter to be graded by the state or federal government before being sold, but Irish butter from grass-fed cows, like Kerrygold, is ungraded. All other states can have their Irish butter, but Wisconsin cannot. So on Thursday, a Wisconsin specialty food store and four people from around the state who say they want to buy Kerrygold butter were listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state over what it calls the "unconstitutional" barring of Irish butters.

“While you might not think of economic liberties as a civil rights issue, I would disagree with that,” said attorney Rick Esenberg, of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, a conservative legal group. “It is a civil rights issue.”

The law has been on the books since 1954, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says that as long as the law exists, it has the duty to enforce it. Nobody has been arrested or fined over the law, and so far all enforcement has reportedly been limited to notifying retailers that the law exists and is in effect.

Kerrygold is not involved in the lawsuit and has not commented on it.

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