Beloved folk singer and environmental activist Neil Young is kicking his Starbucks habit. Young announced on his website that he's boycotting the coffee giant because of its involvement in a lawsuit regarding GMO labeling.
I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one. Starbucks has teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling. ... 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. Amazingly, it claims that the law is an assault on corporations' right to free speech. Monsanto might not care what we think -- but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does. If we can generate enough attention, we can push Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit, and then pressure other companies to do the same.
Four organizations — the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Food Association and the National Association of Manufacturers — filed a suit against the state of Vermont because of a law passed last year, per People. The law requires food labels to properly identify any genetically modified ingredients by July 1, 2016. Starbucks and Monsanto members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
The Seattle-based coffee chain responded to Young's claims in a statement, via Stereogum:
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.
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