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Potential Class Actions Against Fairlife Farms for Fraudulent Animal Welfare Representations

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that lawsuits seeking class action certification for consumers who were misled by Fairlife’s marketing regarding its treatment of cows used to produce dairy gathered in federal court in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. in Chicago. This follows an October order by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordering the transfer of all such cases to the Northern District of Illinois.

Vermont Proposes Milk Labeling Law

Vermont Senate Bill 207 proposes to criminalize selling or distributing a food product labeled as “milk” or as a “dairy product” that is not or is not derived from “the pure lacteal secretion” of a cow or other livestock, unless that product conforms to a standard of identity adopted by the Food and Drug Administration. An offense would be punishable by two years of imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, and it would leave the offender open to civil liability of $10,000 for each product in violation of the law.

Borden Dairy Declares Bankruptcy

The 160-year-old dairy company Borden filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware, citing a $256 million debt, declining dairy consumption, and increased competition.

Virginia Considers Dairy Assistance Program

Virginia House Bill 1750 would create the Dairy Producer Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program in order to assist dairy producers in the state.

Dairy Farmers of America to Purchase Dean Foods

Following milk supplier Dean Foods’ bankruptcy last year, Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to pay $425 million to acquire 44 of the company’s facilities and certain corporate assets. The deal is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Underestimates of Methane from Intensively Raised Animals Could Undermine Goals of Sustainable Development”

A new review by Matthew Hayek and Scot Miller published in Environmental Research Letters suggests that the United States may be understating methane emissions from meat and dairy operations, undermining goals of sustainable development.

PCRM and Physicians File Suit Challenging USDA Dietary Guidelines

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and three physicians have filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services alleging that the agencies’ issuance of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans violates the Administrative Procedure Act because the guidelines “fail to reflect current ‘scientific and medical knowledge.’”

Rhode Island Considers Tax Exemption for Dairies

Rhode Island Senate Bill 364 would require cities and towns in the state to exempt from taxation “any real property situated in the city or town classified and utilized as dairy farmland.”

Pennsylvania Superior Court Directs District Attorney to Pursue Cruelty Case Against Dairy Farm

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled that a lower court erred in finding that a private criminal complaint submitted by Animal Outlook (AO) alleging hundreds of animal cruelty violations against cows and calves at Martin Farms dairy farm did not warrant prosecution. Following AO’s undercover investigation that captured downed cows being dragged, calves having their horns burned off, excessive use of electric shock, and gratuitous tail pulling and twisting, AO submitted a private criminal complaint, but the District Attorney declined to prosecute. Under Pennsylvania law, when a prosecutor refuses to bring criminal charges based on a private complaint, the private complainant can ask a court to order the prosecutor to file charges. When AO sought such an order the trial court sided with the DA. On appeal of the trial court’s decision, the Superior Court found that AO “provided sufficient evidence to show prima facie cases of neglect, cruelty, and aggravated cruelty” that did not fall within the “agricultural operation” exception to animal cruelty. The Superior Court then remanded the matter to the trial court, with directions for the trial court to order the DA to “accept and transmit for prosecution … [AO’s] private criminal complaint.”

Perfect Day Secures “No Questions” Letter for its Non-Animal Whey Protein

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a letter to cultivated dairy startup Perfect Day, stating that the agency currently has “no questions” regarding the company’s conclusion that its non-animal whey protein is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for its intended use.