Singer Neil Young boycotts Starbucks over Vermont GMO label lawsuit, over 300,000 sign petition
UPDATE: Starbucks releases statement clarifying that they are not a party to the lawsuit but members of the GMA, who’s actions are “separate” which they have not officially pledged support for though their funds benefit as members.
Singer Neil Young has announced that he is boycotting Starbucks after a petition claimed the company joined in a lawsuit opposing Vermont’s GMO label law which goes into effect in July 2016. The coffee giant has faced increased pressure as a sumofus.org petition helped to spread awareness, now with over 300,000 in support of a boycott. The petition also mentions Green Mountain Coffee.
Neil Young is seeking a new source for his daily latte. The rocker announced on his website this week that he’s boycotting Starbucks over the coffee company’s involvement in a lawsuit against the state of Vermont’s new requirements to label genetically modified ingredients.
“I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one,” Young wrote. “Starbucks has teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling.”
“Monsanto might not care what we think — but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does,” Young wrote. “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.”
“Considering that Starbucks has been progressive on LGBT and labor issues in the past, it’s disappointing that it is working with the biggest villain of them all, Monsanto,” he continued.
“There’s much more at stake here than just whether GMO foods will be labeled in a single U.S. state. Vermont is the very first state in the U.S. to require labeling. Dozens of other states have said that they will follow this path — in order to encourage this, we need to ensure that Vermont’s law stands strong.”
Young closed his note by directing fans to the website of the organization SumOfUs to donate or sign a petition, and asking them to “pressure and call out members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.”
Vermont passed a law last spring requiring all food products containing GMO ingredients to be labeled by July 1, 2016. To a point of controversy, the law excludes dairy products, meat, alcohol and restaurants.
Grocery Manufacturers Association leads the opposition to labeling with more than 300 members including both Starbucks and Monsanto. The other three plaintiffs in the suit are familiar supporters, the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Food Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.
Sign the petition
Starbucks doesn’t think you have the right to know what’s in your coffee. So it’s teamed up with Monsanto to sue the small U.S. state of Vermont to stop you from finding out.
Starbucks is part of a lawsuit that’s aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled. Amazingly, they claim that the law is an assault on their corporate right to free speech. A local Vermont company, Green Mountain Coffee, has also joined in.
SumOfUs members have already chipped in to support Vermont’s legal defense fund. The next part of our strategy is chipping away at the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s base, which counts Monsanto, Starbucks, and Green Mountain Coffee as its members. 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.
Sign the petition to tell Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee to withdraw their support for the lawsuit against Vermont, and stop fighting accurate food labeling.
Vermont is a small, entirely rural state with just 600,000 people. It’s a classic David and Goliath fight between Vermont and Monsanto. Considering that Starbucks has been progressive on LGBT and labor issues in the past, it’s disappointing that it is working with biggest villain of them all, Monsanto.
There’s much more at stake here than just whether GMO foods will be labeled in a single U.S. state. Vermont is the very first state in the U.S. to require labeling. Dozens of other states have said that they will follow this path — in order to encourage this, we need to ensure that Vermont’s law stands strong.
That’s why Monsanto and its new allies are fighting so hard to kill GMO labeling in Vermont. If we can win here, it’ll be a huge step towards the goal of GMO labeling worldwide, and making sure that consumers know what they are putting in their mouths.
SumOfUs is already fighting back — we helped Vermont raise almost a quarter of a million dollars to defend themselves against Monsanto’s bullying! The next strategic step is to pressure and call out members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the shadowy body leading the lawsuit.
Add your voice now. Tell Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee to stop supporting the lawsuit against Vermont.