Ben & Jerry’s ‘happy cows’ lawsuit sent to pasture by judge
A federal lawsuit alleging that Ben & Jerry’s misled consumers by claiming its ice cream comes from “happy cows” was tossed by a judge, according to court papers.
Vermont federal court Judge Christina Reiss last week tossed the suit brought against the company by environmentalist James Ehlers, who claimed that many of the cows that produce Ben & Jerry’s milk are raised on factory-style farms and are not enrolled in the company’s “caring dairy” program.
In his suit, Ehlers claimed the ice cream company, which is owned by Unilever, intentionally misled their customers and “prevented from making a meaningful and informed choice” when buying ice cream.
In her decision tossing the suit, Judge Reiss determined that the fine print of Ben & Jerry’s website makes it clear that not all of the ice cream is sourced from cows enrolled in the “Happy Dairy” program.
The site notes that the program is one that “participating farms” join “voluntarily,” according to the decision.
Judge Reiss determined the company therefore did not claim all their milk was sourced from “happy cows.” She also wrote that because the company has since removed the “happy” label from its packaging, there’s no possibility for future misleading advertising.
A Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson said the judge was right to dismiss the “meritless” claims.
With Post wires