WhiteWave Foods has come under attack in the US following the launch of a line of yogurts under the Rachel's brand name.

The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group, has criticised WhiteWave for producing the Rachel's Wickedly Delicious yogurts with conventional milk.

Mark Kastel, senior farm policy analyst at the institute, said the launch does not make sense. "Taking England's premier organic brand and bringing it to America to manufacture with conventional milk doesn't make sense," he told just-food last night (30 May).

"Furthermore, the fact that a surplus of organic milk exists today, making an organic product launch of this nature possible, whereas it would not have been possible even a year ago, is a further disconnect."

Earlier this week, WhiteWave announced the launch of the yogurts in the US as products that would appeal to "health-savvy consumers".

The move comes after WhiteWave and its parent company, US dairy giant Dean Foods, has recently faced criticism over its organic operations.

Shareholders have claimed that the company's "corporate-owned factory-scale organic dairies" are hurting the company's image in the eyes of consumers.

Kastel said: "Even with all the criticism they've taken they are continuing to spend millions in developing additional industrial-scale dairies. This is not what consumers think they're supporting when they are paying a premium for organic dairy products."

Moreover, shareholders have blamed Dean Foods for helping to create the excess supply of organic milk in the US. Earlier this month, Dean Foods was forced to admit that the excess supply in the organic dairy market would hit profits.

"They have shot themselves in the foot," Kastel said. "(Dean Foods) has spent a tremendous amount of money in public relations trying to legitimise these factory farm operations. But they have created a monster. Now there are private-label suppliers, producing cheap milk on other factory farms, that are now undercutting it in the marketplace."

Officials at WhiteWave Foods could not be reached for immediate comment.