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Ben & Jerry's sued over claim its products come from 'happy cows'

Environmental advocate James Ehlers says many of the farms that produce milk and cream for Ben & Jerry's products are factory-style, mass production dairy operations.
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Ben & Jerry's co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield serve ice cream following a press conference announcing a new flavor in Washington on Sept. 3, 2019.Win McNamee / Getty Images

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Ben & Jerry's is facing a lawsuit accusing the ice cream maker and its parent company of false advertising by saying the milk and cream in its products comes from "happy cows."

In a complaint filed Oct. 31 in federal court in Burlington, Vermont, where Ben & Jerry's was founded, environmental advocate James Ehlers accuses the company and Unilever of deceiving consumers.

He says many of the farms that produce the milk and cream are factory-style, mass production dairy operations. He says only some are part of the company's "Caring Dairy" program.

Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood emailed Friday that the company doesn't comment on pending lawsuits. He said it's proud of the work it's done with Vermont family farmers and is committed to building a resilient, regenerative dairy supply.