Milk company A2 Milk is reportedly set to sue the ABC over a segment on its show The Checkout which questioned scientific claims made by A2 Milk.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that A2 Milk has accused the consumer affairs TV program of breaching the broadcaster’s code of conduct, suggesting the segment about A2 Milk was unbalanced, contained factual errors and misrepresentations.
The Checkout segment, which appeared in late April with reporter Kirsten Drysdale, suggested health claims made in one of the milk company’s advertising campaigns were unfounded.
A2 Milk supposedly doesn’t not contain typical proteins found in regular milk and makes the marketing claim that it can help improve digestion.
News.com.au quoted the CEO of A2 Milk, Peter Nathan, as saying The Checkout had failed to mention a number of responses from A2 Milk in the program.
“Other ABC programs in the past including 7:30 and Four Corners have done pieces on A2 milk, and they presented the information in a balanced way,” he said.
“This one lacked any balance whatsoever. It was a total beat up. Based on the level of inaccuracy and the vitriol which was completely unwarranted and surprising, on that basis one questions what inspired the story in the first place.”
The legal action, being prepared by Allan Myers, QC, was reportedly launched after the ABC allegedly refused to remove ads for the segment on its homepage and social media.
In a statement, the ABC said: “Yesterday afternoon the ABC received notification of legal action by A2 Milk Company. We had previously responded to a letter from lawyers acting on their behalf. We strongly rejected the suggestion that the matters a2 has complained about involved misleading or deceptive conduct.”