A Hudson Valley law firm is suing a popular butter company for including ingredients it says can cause fertility issues and increase the risk of cancer despite being labeled as "pure".

The Poughkeepsie firm of Sultzer & Lipari has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Carolyn Winans of New York against Ornua Foods North America Inc. The maker of Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is being accused of false advertising and hiding the fact that its product contains toxic chemicals.

Is Kerrygold Butter Toxic?

At the heart of the lawsuit is an acknowledgment that packages of Kerrygold Butter purchased by Winans and millions of other consumers did contain PFAS, or forever chemicals. According to the court, these chemicals are linked to a host of health hazards including an increased risk of cancer, issues with fertility, developmental delays, damage to the immune system, an increased risk of cancer and more. The court agrees that these chemicals can be dangerous even at low levels.

Ornua Foods North America/Canva
Ornua Foods North America/Canva

While there these chemicals are not used in the manufacturing of Kerrygold butter, it is believed to migrate into the food from the packaging. Kerrygold recently pulled its products from store shelves in California and New York ahead of a new law banning PFAS. The plaintiff says this proves that the company was aware of the presence of the chemicals in its product and hid the fact from consumers, falsely advertising it as "pure".

Ornua Foods, the maker of Kerrygold butter, argues that the word "pure" describes the butter's Irish origin and not the quality of the butter.

Poughkeepsie Law Firm Says Kerrygold Purposefully Tricked Customers

Attorneys Jason Sultzer and Phillip Furia of Sultzer & Lipari of Poughkeepsie say that Ornura Foods not only hid the fact that PFAS was present in their product but misled customers by describing its butter as healthy. They say their client purchased Kerrygold butter because it was advertised as a pure, natural product. If she had known it contained PFAS, she would never have used it.

Sultzer & Lipari/Ornua Foods North America/Canva
Sultzer & Lipari/Ornua Foods North America/Canva

Lawsuit Against Kerrygold Moves Forward

Ornua's attempt to dismiss the lawsuit was shot down this month after the United States District Court in New York ruled that the case could move forward. The judge says that the charges of false advertising have merit and that consumers are reasonably concerned about the presence of PFAS in food products.

The ruling also makes it possible that Ornura could be on the hook for medical monitoring of customers who may have been exposed to the chemicals. While the motion to dismiss the case has been denied, this does not mean that a trial will happen anytime soon. The discovery process can go on for quite some time. It's also possible that the butter maker may decide to settle before the suit is presented to a judge.

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