Dairy groups sued over weight-loss claims

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The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an activist group that advocates a vegan diet, has filed two lawsuits to stop a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign claiming that milk facilitates weight-loss.

PCRM charges that three main dairy industry trade groups ― the International Dairy Foods Association, National Dairy Council, and Dairy Management Inc ― and international food giants Kraft Foods, General Mills and Dannon are misleading consumers with deceptive advertising that makes scientifically unsubstantiated claims about the effect of dairy products on weight-loss.

The suits ― one for money damages, the other a class-action suit seeking injunctive relief ― were filed in Alexandria Circuit Court in Virginia.

Susan Ruland, spokesperson for the International Dairy Foods Association, says there are many studies that back up the industry’s position.

“We have been very conservative and careful in the messaging that’s been developed,” Ruland told The Associated Press. “The claims are reviewed by the USDA. We can see no basis for this suit other than to get attention for the animal-rights agenda."

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