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Ben & Jerry's Sued Over "Happy Cow" Characterization

URLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – Ben & Jerry's is facing a lawsuit accusing the ice cream maker and its parent company of false advertising by saying that the milk and cream in their products come from "happy cows."

a complaint filed October 29 in the federal court in Burlington, Vermont, where Ben & Jerry's was founded, environmental attorney James Ehlers said that many of the farms producing milk and cream are factory environment, milk production in mass production and only some are part of the company's "Caring Dairy" program.

"Contrary to what Unilever has told consumers, the products are made from a mixture of (1) milk coming from farms participating in the" Caring Dairy "program and (2) milk coming from cows in a factory environment, with mass production of milk operations, "the complaint said.

Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood emailed on Friday that the company does not comment on pending lawsuits. He said the company is proud of the work it is doing with Vermont's family farms and believes its "Caring Dairy" program is the most progressive in the industry.

"We are committed to building an elastic, regenerative dairy supply," he wrote.

It includes building ground health through increased cover crops, alternative tillage, rotary crops and grazing techniques, according to the company's website about its voluntary "Caring Dairy" program, which also says high quality animal care will produce a higher quality milk.

The complaint from Ehler, a former gubernatorial candidate, accuses Ben & Jerry & # 39; s and Unilever of violating the Vermont Consumer Protection Act, breach of express warranty, and unfair enrichment.

It states that Unilever has breached consumer confidence risks "real and immediate threat of repeated damage, including the purchase of fraudulently labeled and packaged products sold at prices above their fair value."

The action seeks unspecified damages. [1

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