I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one. ~ Neil Young
I, like Neil, have lined up at a Starbucks counter, waiting patiently behind ten people to get my caffeine fix. But there’s something that changed this habit. The coffee shop on every corner (there are almost 12,000 stores in the US) is helping to keep you in the dark about GMOs in your food and beverages. Recently, they have teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont over the recently passed GMO labeling initiative. What gives, Starbucks?
Neil Young is boycotting Starbucks, and you should too. The company obviously doesn’t think you have the right to know what is in your food. Why sue a small state that legally determined for itself that GMOs should be labeled? It once again comes down to money.
“Hiding behind the shadowy ‘Grocery Manufacturers Association,’ Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that’s aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled,” Young wrote. “Amazingly, it claims that the law is an assault on corporations’ right to free speech.”
Starbucks once used only organic milk, but in the frenzy to grow bigger, they started using cow’s milk that is contaminated with GMOs due to the genetically altered soy, and corn given to many dairy cows as feed. This has led to countless consumers telling Starbucks to go organic and drop the GMO milk, or business will dwindle.
Starbucks also sells other items that are contaminated with GMOs, as many restaurants do. They don’t want to have to worry about what they feed their customers, just as long as those stocks and profits keep going up!
Starbucks has hidden their non-GMO support behind the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s front. Starbucks claims that the Vermont law requiring the labeling of genetically modified ingredients “is an assault on corporations’ right to free speech.”
Starbucks Says These Claims are False
In a statement on its website, Starbucks said a petition Young directed his followers to is wrong:
“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law. The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their description of our position. Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling. As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.”
I’m not sure how any of that could be true when Starbucks is a member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association – a group dedicated to crush GMO labeling efforts. A post on GMA’s website, dated June 13, confirms its stance that Vermont’s GMO labeling law is unconstitutional.
Monsanto may be insulated from the general public’s opinion regarding GMOs, but Starbucks certainly is not. Now, as never before, we can show a major US retailer what we think about their GMO toxins with our joint refusal to pay another dollar for any product made by a company that wants us to suffer GMOs without our consent.
Vermont is a rural state containing only 600,000 people, but we are a vast nation with a resounding collective voice. We can tell Starbucks that if they are going to side with the most hated company in the world to sue Vermont, then we will side with the rest of the citizens in the US and stop patronizing their coffee shops.
If the Vermont law is successfully overturned, then the whole nations’ ability to demand labeling (or banning) of GMOs is put into question. We must ensure that the labeling law in Vermont stands.
I’m boycotting Starbucks. Will you?
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.