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Elanco Takes Arla Foods to Court Over False rBST Claims
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/25/2017

Eli Lilly and Co. and its subsidiary Elanco are suing a major food retailer for launching a $30 million marketing campaign that claims its cheese products are safer because its cows are not injected with rBST. On Friday, the Indiana-based company filed a lawsuit against Arla Foods Inc. USA and Arla Foods Production LLC in Green Bay federal court.

"Arla's 'Live Unprocessed' advertising campaign brings heightened attention to the rBST-related claims on Arla's product labels and casts them in a new light," the complaint said. "When viewed in light of this extensive advertising campaign, Arla's product labeling perpetuates the false claims that rBST is unsafe, that dairy products made using milk from rBST-treated cows is compositionally different and of inferior quality compared to dairy products made from milk of untreated cows, and that rBST is actually an ingredient in some dairy products."

Elanco claims Arla ignores the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared rBST to be a safe product and that there is no discernable difference between milk from cows supplemented with rBST and milk from unsupplemented cows.

Arla Foods' ad depicts a young girl drawing and describing rBST as an enormous six-eyed monster with razor-sharp horns and electrified fur. The commercial ends with the child eating a sandwich with Arla cheese and the words, 'No added hormones. No weird stuff.'

The suit is calling for Arla to stop its advertising campaign and bring its product labels into compliance with all federal and state law requirements concerning rBST-related claims.

Elanco produces and sells rBST under the brand name Posilac.

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