Ben & Jerry’s in the face of a lawsuit filed in 2018 have dropped the “happy cows” claim they’ve used for years in their “humane washing” marketing campaigns.
The advocacy organization Organic Consumers Association (OCA) brought the lawsuit against Ben & Jerry’s back in 2018 for misrepresenting the ice cream companies’ dairy supplier sources as “humane” and that they were “Caring Dairy” farms through the companies “Caring Dairy” program.
It was discovered that many of Ben & Jerry’s supplier sources came from factory farms with samples during testing showing positive results for the biocide glyphosate. Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that is considered a safe non-carcinogen by the EPA.
A very similar class-action suit was also filed by James Ehlers in Vermont back in October of 2019. But there’s no news on the progress of that suit as of now.
In the District of Columbia Superior Court, Ben & Jerry’s filed a motion this month to dismiss the OCA lawsuit. They were denied which subsequently made the company comply with the OCA lawsuit by removing the “happy cow” marketing claims from all packaging and advertising.
“The removal of misleading ‘happy cow’ claims is a victory for consumers and an indication that Ben & Jerry’s can’t back up those claims,” OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins said.
“But this is just one small step toward a more honest representation of the Ben & Jerry’s brand. OCA will continue, through our own ongoing litigation against Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company, Unilever, to push for Ben & Jerry’s either to live up to its remaining marketing claims or to remove all claims that have no basis in fact.”
Ben & Jerry’s first launched their vegan plant-based ice cream line back in 2016 to great success. So much so that they’ve added many flavors since including most recently adding “Netflix & Chill’d” a peanut butter vegan ice cream with sweet and salty pretzel swirls with fudge brownies.
Starting with just the original 4 plant-based vegan ice cream flavors in 2016 to now having 12 flavors and growing it seems clear it has been successful so what is stopping Ben & Jerry’s from going full vegan in the plant-based market said to be worth hundreds of billions by the end of this new decade in the 2020s?
This is a big victory that will have repercussions for years to come through the animal agriculture industry that has been using “humane washing” and “green washing” to shore up their dying industry, especially dairy. Whole Foods Markets is a big perpetrator of “humane washing” products for example.
The future is vegan and the sooner Ben & Jerry’s and all other animal agriculture driven companies learn that the sooner they can save their businesses from failing when animal agriculture collapses by the end of the decade.
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