The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has finally found 10 people from the Washington, D.C. area willing to work with the group to file a class-action suit against the dairy industry. The suit, filed in the District of Columbia’s Superior Court, demands that the dairy industry put warning labels on milk cartons for lactose-intolerant consumers.

The suit names nine dairy retailers who do business in the WashingtonD.C. area. Defendants named in the lawsuit include Giant of Maryland, Safeway, Horizon Organic, Dean Foods, Nestle Holdings, Farmland Dairies, Shenandoah’s Pride, Stonyfield Farm and Cloverland Farms Dairy. PCRM says the lawsuit was filed on “behalf of everyone who lives in the District of Columbia.”

Remember, this lawsuit is the result of a media campaign the group launched in June to recruit lactose-intolerant people from the Washington D.C. area to join together to file suit. PCRM placed large ads on Metrorail platforms and inside trains and buses that read: “Got Lactose Intolerance? 75 percent of people do, particularly people of color. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.”

In addition, PCRM, an activist group with only a small portion of physicians in its membership and with ties to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is providing pro-bono legal counsel for those who filed suit. If the first suit is successful, PCRM plans to file suit against other dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese.

So far, media coverage in the D.C. area has been fairly balanced. For example, an article in the Washington Post, cited two national experts saying that “gastrointestinal problems that can result are far less prevalent than the lawsuit claims and are hardly the basis for a warning label.” The article goes on to cite a report from the National Medical Association, an organization of black physicians, calling on African Americans to increase their dairy consumption. That report was released last year.

WashingtonPost, The WashingtonTimes, PCRM, Consumer