Miyoko’s Creamery Wins Right to Use the Term “Vegan Butter”

Yvonne O'Halloran

A favorite among vegans, Miyoko’s Creamery came out victorious in a lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The lawsuit was filed by Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Miyoko’s in response to the CDFA’s attempt to get the vegan brand to stop using the terms “butter,” “lactose-free,” and “cruelty-free” on its products. The CDFA also demanded the brand remove an image of a woman hugging a cow on Miyoko’s website. The photo came from Rancho Compasión, an animal sanctuary founded by Miyoko’s Creamery owner Miyoko Schinner and her husband.

However, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California sided with Miyoko’s. While the CDFA claimed the brand’s labeling and packaging was confusing and misleading, the court disagreed.

“The state’s showing of broad marketplace confusion around plant-based dairy alternatives is empirically underwhelming,” said Judge Seeborg. He went on to say that Miyoko’s is entitled to label its products as “butter,” a decision that is protected under the First Amendment.

The judge agreed that the terms “butter,” “lactose-free,” and “cruelty-free” were all allowed to be used but denied the motion for Miyoko’s to use the phrases “hormone-free” and “revolutionizing dairy with plants,” indicating that these terms were misleading.

Miyoko’s Creamery has always been clear on its labels that their products are “vegan” and “made with plants.”

Article written by Tessa Altman- United States

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