The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has filed suit against Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., for deceptive labeling, marketing and sale of Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream products. The suit was filed in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
“Unilever reportedly spent more than $9 billion on advertising in 2017 alone,” said OCA International Director, Ronnie Cummins. “A significant portion of that was spent to create the false perception that Ben & Jerry’s is committed to a clean environment and high animal welfare standards. Unilever knows those values foster brand loyalty and also allow the company to charge a premium.”
“Ben & Jerry’s decades-old practice of sourcing dairy ingredients from conventional dairy operations has led to a water pollution crisis in Vermont. There is nothing socially or environmentally responsible about that.”
Michael Colby, president of Regeneration Vermont, said: “For decades, Ben & Jerry’s has been doing bad and feeling good about it. While they market it as ‘Caring Dairy,’ the cheap milk produced for Ben & Jerry’s relies upon factory-style farming practices, such as antibiotics use and animal confinement, that contaminate the state’s waterways.”
Regeneration Vermont, OCA’s campaign partner in the Ben & Jerry’s media campaign, has issued reports on the health, environmental, labor and animal welfare threats from industrial dairies that supply Ben & Jerry’s. The Vermont-based nonprofit’s most recent report, “A Failure to Regulate: Big Dairy & Water Pollution in Vermont,” exposes the role factory farms supplying Ben & Jerry’s play in the state’s water crisis, where more than 100 waterways are classified by the U.S. EPA as “impaired.”
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