Kerrygold Butter's "Pure" Image Melts Under Legal Scrutiny

Judge allows class action lawsuit against Kerrygold butter to move forward.

Kerrygold Butter Class Action Allowed to Proceed: "Pure" Label Called into Question

For many, Kerrygold butter evokes images of rolling green hills and fresh, creamy goodness. But a class action lawsuit challenges that image, alleging the popular Irish butter's packaging may not be as "pure" as advertised.

Judge says "hold the butter" on dismissing lawsuit

A New York federal judge recently allowed the class action lawsuit filed by Carolyn Winans to proceed. Winans claims Kerrygold's butter packaging contained PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These chemicals, sometimes called "forever chemicals," persist in the environment and our bodies for a long time. While research is ongoing, some studies suggest potential health risks linked to PFAS exposure.

The crux of the lawsuit hinges on New York's General Business Law and claims of unjust enrichment and negligence. The judge tossed out a separate request for a public injunction but allowed Winans to pursue these claims, arguing they have merit.

What are PFAs?

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals used in various industries to make products water-resistant, stain-resistant, and grease-resistant. They can be found in nonstick cookware, clothing, carpets, and even firefighting foam. 

The problem? PFAS don't break down easily and can accumulate in our bodies over time. While research is still developing, some studies suggest potential links between PFAS exposure and health problems like certain cancers, immune system issues, and developmental problems in children.

"Pure" packaging, not-so-pure contents?

Winans alleges that Kerrygold's "pure Irish butter" label is misleading because the packaging contained PFAS. This omission, the lawsuit claims, is a deceptive business practice that misled consumers about potential health risks. 

The complaint also points to a 2023 recall of Kerrygold butter in New York after the state banned PFAS in food packaging.

Kerrygold says "don't worry, be buttery," but judge isn't convinced

Kerrygold argued the presence of PFAS wouldn't be a concern for most consumers and shouldn't be relevant to the case. However, the judge disagreed, stating the potential health risks are likely a worry for many. 

This allows the lawsuit to move forward, potentially leading to compensation for consumers who bought Kerrygold butter with the suspect packaging. The judge might even require Kerrygold to fund a program to monitor the health of people who might have been exposed to PFAS.

It's important to remember that this is a lawsuit and the allegations haven't been proven in court. However, the judge's decision allows the case to proceed, raising questions about Kerrygold's packaging practices and the potential health concerns surrounding PFAS.

The plaintiff and proposed class are represented by The Sultzer Law Group PC and Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman PLLC.

The Kerrygold butter PFAs class action lawsuit is Winans et al v. Ornua Foods North America Inc., Case No. 2:23-cv-01198 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

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