The a2 Milk Company claims that its special type of milk can be easier on the digestive system than regular milk. The complaint for this class action alleges that is a false statement, because the milk still contains lactose, the source of digestive problems with milk.
The Nationwide Class for this action is all consumers in the US who bought any of the A2 milk products with actionable representations during the statutes of limitations. The New York State Class is all consumers in the state of New York who bought any of the A2 milk products with actionable representations during the statutes of limitations.
Milk from a2 comes in several varieties—whole, 1%, 2%, and chocolate. The complaint quotes the front labels as having the phrases, “Feel the Difference,” “Easier on Digestion,” and “Naturally Easy to Digest.”
It’s true that milk gives many people digestive discomfort. But why does the company claim its milk is easier to digest? The complaint quotes the package as saying, “Ordinary cows’ milk contains a mix of A1 and A2 protein types. The a2 Milk brand comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein and no A1—and that makes a big difference. Independent research shows the A1 protein can cause you tummy discomfort. If that’s you, a2 Milk may help.”
The complaint elaborates on this claim: Cows’ milk of all types contains two milk proteins, whey and casein. There are twelve different types of caseins, but the two most common are A1 and A2.
The company cites independent research to support its claim. It shows that when A1 is broken down, it creates a peptide known as BCM-7. The researchers believe that BCM-7 is the cause of digestive issues with milk. When A2 is broken down, it does not create BCM-7. The company further speculates that A2 is easier to digest because it was the “original” milk, while those with A1 proteins are varieties that evolved later.
However, the complaint claims that the research is false. First, it claims that it is not “independent” but “performed by groups, organizations and researchers with close ties to” the company.
Second, the complaint claims that there is no evidence that BCM-7 is the substance that’s at fault. Instead, it says that lactose is the problem, and that the a2 milk still contains lactose.
Finally, it claims that the studies for the research were poorly designed and “contrary to human physiology” and that they “represent the view of a minority of scientists.”
The complaint claims violations of state consumer protection laws as well as breaches of warranties, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud, among other things.