The Oatly lawsuit

by veronica

Lets talk body fluids. Not in the way you may think ;) 

I’m quite enraged actually, and I usually don’t participate in heated debates. But I cant just sit on the bench doing nothing watching this madness unfold. There are a few things that I don’t understand about this lawsuit – and I guess that maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t.

For the uninitiated Oatly is a small company that produces oat based products, such as plant based milk, creams and other substitutes for traditional animal derived, dairy products. 

Svensk Mjölk, aka the swedish milk association/industry/LRF Mjölk, a divison of LRF (if I understand this correctly), has filed a lawsuit against Oatly. This was brought on by their new packaging. Stating things like the following:

“It´s like milk, but made for humans.”

“No milk. No soy. No badness.”


In several newspapers the LRF Mjölk spokesperson is quoted saying that they are “concerned about the consumer”, and want to “protect them” against Oatlys “misleading” slogans on their packaging.

Since apparently its very misleading to state the obvious. Milk comes from a cow, a cow produces milk to feed its offspring, of course the logic is, that the cow’s milk is made for baby cows, not humans. 

It works exactly the same if I would have a baby, my breast milk would be tailored made to fit my own offspring. 


So, why I think it’s a good thing that LRF Mjölk files this lawsuit

Yes, you read me right, I just wrote that. I believe its actually quite beneficial for several reasons. Hear me out: 

  • LRF Mjölk is probably scared that they are loosing market shares in that particular field, aka the consumers are actively choosing to explore other products and alternatives. If that is the case, instead of tapping into this opportunity and giving the consumer what they actually want. They choose to file a lawsuit. Which brings me into the next point.
  • So basically if I understand this right, LRF Mjölk, is part of LRF and the central association LRF also includes farmers of everything that is produced on Swedish soil, that also includes farmers that produce oat. Isn’t that quite counter productive, to sue Oatly, a company that only buys Swedish oat for making their products? A quite confusing thing in itself, don’t you think?
  • I understand that LRF Mjölk are scared. But they will probably not win the consumers trust by this move and this act is not right on so many levels. Especially not since they want to file for a specific sentence that would force Oatly to THROW AWAY all the products they have, with these slogans printed on their packaging. How f*cked up is that?! (excuse my French) but people are starving on this planet. And the LRF Mjölk wants to force a company to throw away food and then pay them 14 million swedish krona. (Approx 1,4 million pounds). Did LRF Mjölk really think this through? It certainly does not appear that LRF Mjölk has any thought about our planets resources, and it’s beyond comprehension why a big company like that needs an additional 14 millions. I ask you – what on earth will LRF Mjölk use all this money for?
  • Imagine that if I still would be “only” a vegetarian, this act would actually make me go vegan. I really suspect there are more people that are passionate enough to actually boycott LRF Mjölk due to this action against Oatly. (see a good thing!)
  • Not to say the least since Otaly s a tiny tiny company against the entire swedish milk industry, they will get quite a lot of free press and “top of mind” from this. Just looking at the situation, Oatly is appearing as the good guys and the LRF part of LRF Mjölk with these activities are not really appearing especially favourable right now.  Many people are actively engaged in working with reducing the amount of food we throw away on a daily basis. Just an example. 
  • My last point is that LRF Mjölk, if they are concerned about their consumer for real, they should actively address the rising scientific research that points to the cancer risks, depleted bone structures in humans etc linked to dairy, that are on the rise these days. Not spending money on trying to actively destroy other non-competitive businesses. May I suggest funding further research on the subject? 


For further reading

In closing I’ve gathered resources  for anyone who wants to educate themselves on milk, dairy and the consequences for the body:

  • Oatly’s own webpage dedicated to publishing the lawsuit filed by LRF Mjölk in its entirety (Swedish text through Google Translate):
  • Milk and our bones:
  • Cancer risk and casein:
  • Confusing information about milk and cancer:
  • Movies to watch to get educated about the food industry:


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