You won’t see any of those Arla Foods “Live Unprocessed” ads anymore. A federal court in Wisconsin last week granted Elanco’s motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction against the international dairy conglomerate’s ad campaign, which makes false and misleading claims about recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST).
Chief Judge William Griesbach of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the preliminary injunction prohibiting Arla from continuing to run the recent television and social media ads against rbST, a supplement marketed and sold by Elanco under the brand name Posilac. As part of the campaign, launched across the U.S. in late April, the company animated a child’s interpretation of rbST as a six-eyed monster with “razor-sharp horns” and electrified fur.
The judge further prohibited Arla from claiming – either directly or by implication – in any advertising, website, social media, or other public communication that rbST/Posilac or dairy products made from cows supplemented with rbST/Posilac are dangerous or unsafe; that dairy products made from milk of cows supplemented with rbST/Posilac are of lesser quality or less wholesome than other dairy products; or that consumers should not feel ‘good about eating’ or ‘serving to their friends and family’ dairy products made from milk of cows supplemented with rbST/Posilac.
“Elanco is very pleased with the court’s decision in this case,” said Eric Graves, president, Elanco North America. “As the court points out in its ruling, ‘fear-mongering’ does not ‘benefit the public.’”
Judge Griesbach noted that the FDA recently reaffirmed its scientific determination that milk from rbST-treated cows is safe, and that there is no significant difference between milk from cows treated with rbST and untreated cows. “Suggesting otherwise only serves to disseminate misinformation to the public,” the court wrote in its decision.
For more than 20 years, rbST has been used to help cows increase milk production without changing the safety and quality of the dairy products we consume. As one of the most researched animal products ever to be approved by the FDA, rbST and dairy products made with milk from rbST-treated cows, have been deemed safe by scientific authorities and regulators in more than 50 countries across the globe, including the World Health Organization.
“Consumers are seeing examples of marketing claims involving GMOs, cage-free eggs, antibiotics and other modern farm practices, and are being misled by false notions about these important innovations,” Graves added. “We will continue to champion animal health innovation and provide science-based facts about our products because it’s the right thing to do for our customers and for consumers who want the truth about the food they buy for their families.”