Ben & Jerry’s joins campaign to block restrictions on dairy labeling

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Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream is fighting for their right to use labels that proclaim their ice cream free of a synthetic hormone used by some dairy farmers to get more milk from their cows.

The ice cream maker has joined a national campaign to block efforts in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana that critics say are being driven by Monsanto Co., the marketer of recombinant bovine growth hormone.

Monsanto says the hormone-free labels imply that the milk is safer than other milk when they say it’s not.

The federally approved hormone was not approved in Canada, Japan and the European Union, largely out of concerns that it may be harmful to animal health. Critics say there are also human health concerns.

In October, Pennsylvania banned hormone-free labeling but later rescinded the ban. Last week the sponsor of an Indiana bill pulled similar legislation saying there was too much controversy about it.

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