(Reuters) - The Jewish group that oversees kosher certification marks on food packaging sued a Maine dairy in federal court, alleging the company has been using the marks on its milk cartons for years without authorization.
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America sued Maine's Own Organic Milk Co on Wednesday in Boston, seeking an injunction blocking the further sale of marked products, as well as an accounting of past sales and damages.
The Orthodox Union owns and administers the familiar Kosher certification stamp, which is rendered as a U inside a circle and referred to as the "OU mark."
According to the suit, the group learned in June 2010 that Maine's Own was selling milk with the stamp without authorization and contacted the company asking it to stop.
After a back-and-forth with company executives, the Orthodox Union inspected the dairy's facilities in December 2010 and sent the company paperwork for its certification in January 2011. But according to the suit, the company balked at the cost of certification and ultimately did not pay.
The Orthodox Union said it learned in March 2012 that Maine's Own, also known as MOOMilk, was still using the OU mark on its cartons.
An executive at MOOMilk referred requests for comment to Chief Executive Bill Eldrige, who could not immediately be reached.
Late last year, the company received a loan from Whole Foods Markets, as part of that company's financial support program for local producers, so that it could increase production.
The case is Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America vs. Maine's Own Organic Milk Co L3C, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 12-10648.
(Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)