Is Ben & Jerry's misleading its customers about the type of milk and cream used in its ice cream?
Environmental advocate and former gubernatorial candidate James Ehlers says yes, and that its parent company, Unilever, is profiting because of the false advertising, according to a recent lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington.
According to the federal complaint, filed Oct. 29, Winooski resident Ehlers alleges that Unilever violated its customers' trust by saying Ben & Jerry's products were made with milk and cream sourced from "happy cows" on Vermont dairy farms that participate in its humane "Caring Dairy" program.
Only a minority of the cream and milk used in the ice cream comes from these types of farms, the complaint alleges.
"The remaining milk and cream originates from factory-style, mass-production dairy operations, exactly what consumers who choose Ben & Jerry's products would like to avoid," the complaint states.