Miyoko’s is Allowed to Use ‘Butter’ on the Label, After Winning Legal Battle
It's official: Miyoko’s Creamery can use ‘butter’, ‘cruelty-free’, and ‘lactose-free’ on the packaging of its dairy-free and vegan products.
The United States District Court Northern District of California determined Miyoko's Creamery can indeed refer to itself as "butter." The dairy alternative brand was in a legal battle against Karen Ross from the California Department of Food Agriculture and Stephen Beam, the Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch Chief, over whether a vegan brand can refer to its products using the same language as dairy products.
Along with the victory for Miyoko’s being able to use the terms ‘butter',‘cruelty-free’ and ‘lactose-free,’ the motion for preliminary injunction also states some terms the brand can’t use. Miyoko’s can not use the terms ‘hormone-free’ or ‘Revolutionizing Dairy with Plants’ like they have used on their website in the past.
Miyoko’s Creamery has shared its excitement for the win on its social media platforms. The company posted on Facebook, “Victory! Our use of the word ‘butter’ has been deemed to merit First Amendment protection, according to the United States District Court Northern District of California.”
There have been many complaints from farmers and people in the dairy industry against vegan and dairy-free brands using terms like ‘milk’, ‘butter’ and ‘cheese’ for products that do not contain any dairy. With the growing popularity and variety of vegan and dairy-free options, more people are choosing them over traditional dairy products. This is taking a toll on the dairy industry and causing them to take action against the dairy-free companies.
A similar case took place in Virginia where there were plans for plant-based milk to be barred from being called milk, instead to be referred to as drink, for example, oat milk would instead be called oat drink.
Mikoyo's Creamery's latest victory sets a legal precedent for dairy-free and vegan brands to be able to continue using language like 'butter', 'milk' and 'cheese'' on products that include no dairy ingredients.