Amazing news! Miyoko’s, the popular vegan cheese brand, won a lawsuit concerning their usage of terms like “butter” and “dairy” on their packaging!

In 2020, Miyoko’s sued the California Department of Food and Agriculture for infringing upon the company’s right to free speech after the Department attempted to ban Miyoko’s from using certain words and images on their products. This included, “lactose-free,” “cruelty-free,” “butter,” and the company’s mission statement of “Revolutionizing Dairy with Plants.” They even wanted Miyoko’s to take down a photo on their website of a woman hugging a cow. The Department argued that the phrases violated FDA labeling rules. However, on August 11, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Miyoko’s, agreeing that the Department’s demands were unconstitutional.

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After the ruling, Miyoko Schinner, founder of Miyoko’s, stated, “Using words such as ‘butter’ and ‘milk’ in the context of even products made from plants and not from animals is common parlance among consumers in the modern world.” She continued, “Food is ever-evolving, and so too, should language to reflect how people actually use speech to describe the foods they eat. We are extremely pleased by this ruling and believe that it will help set a precedent for the future of food.”

The plant-based labeling debate is not new. There have been plant-based food labeling lawsuits in OklahomaTexas, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, as well as in Australia and the EU. Usually, these lawsuits assert that certain plant-based labels are misleading or confusing for customers. However, there’s significant research that supports consumers’ ability to differentiate between products. Research done at the University of Louisville found that consumers “are no more likely to think that plant-based products come from an animal if the product’s name incorporates words traditionally associated with animal products than if it does not.” Plus, not including words like “dairy-free” could make life even more difficult for people with allergies and other dietary restrictions.

This lawsuit had an amazing outcome (one that would be perfect to celebrate with some of Miyoko’s famous vegan cheese!) Hopefully, it’s indicative of future attitudes towards plant-based products and how they are labeled.

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Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

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For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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