Burlington, VT – An environmental activist has filed a lawsuit against Ben & Jerry’s, alleging that the ice cream company has falsely advertised that its products are made by cream and milk produced by “happy cows.”
Blue Lives Matter has been calling for a boycott of Ben & Jerry’s ever since the company accused police of being racist and the company openly threw their support behind Black Lives Matter.
Environmental activist James Ehlers filed the lawsuit in Burlington federal court on Oct. 31, according to the Associated Press.
This lawsuit comes after a judge refused to dismiss another lawsuit filed by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). According to that lawsuit, traces of herbicide has been found in some of the ice cream company’s products, and some of the farms that supply ingredients to the company also allegedly pollute nearby lakes.
In the latest lawsuit, Ehlers alleged that Ben & Jerry’s sources milk and cream from factory-style dairy operations, and that only a fraction of the cattle used for production are a part of the company’s “Caring Dairy” program.
“In contrast to what [parent company] 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,” the lawsuit read, according to the Associated Press.
The “Caring Dairy” designation requires farmers to meet multiple standards believed to ensure cattle are treated humanely, Reuters reported.
But according to the lawsuit, less than half of the cream and milk Ben & Jerry’s sources actually comes from such operations.
Blue Lives Matter first called on Americans to boycott Ben & Jerry’s in 2016, after the ice cream maker announced their support of Black Lives Matter and accused law enforcement of widespread systemic and institutionalized racism.
Many companies have offered statements of support for Black Lives Matter in the past, with the false belief that they are a civil rights organization.
Blue Lives Matter Editor-in-Chief Christopher Berg wrote at the time, “Most people have their own personal beliefs about what Black Lives Matter means to them. They think that their personal definition for Black Lives Matter is what the organized BLM groups stand for; this is not the case. While we believe that other companies were misguided, Ben & Jerry’s campaign is dangerous.”
“Ben & Jerry’s went beyond making a statement in support of civil rights when they actively accused law enforcement of widespread racism” he noted. “By spreading these false and misleading statements, Ben & Jerry’s lends an appearance of legitimacy to the baseless claims that police officers are killing men based on the color of their skin.”
“This message has inspired the assassination and attempted assassination of police officers, and it costs officers their lives,” he concluded.
The company refused to comment on the pending lawsuit, but said it is proud of its partnership with family farmers in Vermont, the Associated Press reported.