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Lawsuit Takes Issue With Ben & Jerry's 'Happy Cows'

Suit: Some milk comes from cows on factory-style, mass-production dairy operations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 10, 2019 1:39 PM CST
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"Happy cows?"   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Ben & Jerry's is facing a lawsuit accusing the ice cream maker and its parent company of false advertising by saying the milk and cream in its products come from "happy cows." In a complaint filed Oct. 29 in federal court in Burlington, Vermont, where Ben & Jerry's was founded, environmental advocate James Ehlers said that "in contrast to what Unilever has told consumers, the Products are made from a mixture of (1) milk that comes from farms participating in the "Caring Dairy" program and (2) milk that comes from cows on factory-style, mass-production dairy operations." Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood told the AP the company is proud of the work it's done with Vermont's family farms and believes its "Caring Dairy" program is the most progressive in the industry.

That includes building soil health through increased cover crops, alternative tilling practices, rotational crops and grazing techniques, according to company's website about its voluntary "Caring Dairy" program, which also says high quality animal care will produce a higher quality milk. The complaint by Ehlers, a former gubernatorial candidate, accuses Ben & Jerry's and Unilever of violating the Vermont consumer protection act, breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment. It says Unilever has breached the trust of consumers who are at risk of "real and immediate threat of repeated injury, including purchasing deceptively labeled and packaged products sold at prices above their true market value." The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

(Read more lawsuit stories.)

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