Last week, Neil Young published an open letter on his official news site where he said Goodbye to Starbucks Coffee Corporation
. Neil was motivated by the GMO labeling controversy in Vermont that the Monsanto Corporation is involved in.
Naturally, this seemed to have agitated many coffee drinkers and GMO supporters around the world, judging by the comments we received on ThrashersWheatNeverSleeps | Facebook (101)
Now, Starbucks has responded and Says It Has Nothing to Do With a High-Profile GMO Lawsuit | TIME
. The coffee giant released a statement denying that it is involved in the litigation.
“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign,” the statement says. “Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.”
So, as with many thing, this has gotten a bit complicated.
First, here is the SomeOfUS
petition language referenced in his statement:
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.
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. Even a local Vermont company, Green Mountain Coffee, has joined in.
SumOfUs members have already chipped in to support Vermont's legal defense fund. Now, we need to undermine the Grocery Manufacturers Association's base. 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 the 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.
But whatever you think of GMOs, corporations should not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate, democratic decisions with strong public backing.
SumOfUs is already fighting back -- we helped Vermont raise almost a quarter of a million dollars to defend themselves against Monsanto’s bullying! But 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.
So -- naturally -- lots of spin and hairsplitting on the subject.
Second, folks on both sides of the GMO issue are making claims about the health impacts of GMO food.
Last we checked, according to a new correlation study published in the Journal of Organic Systems
“Within the last 20 years there has been an alarming increase in serious illnesses in the US, along with a marked decrease in life expectancy (Bezruchka, 2012). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the cost of diabetes and diabetes-related treatment was approximately $116 billion dollars in 2007.
Estimated costs related to obesity were $147 billion in 2008 and cardiovascular diseases and stroke were $475.3 billion in 2009. Health care expenditures in the US totaled 2.2 trillion dollars in 2007 (CDC, 2013a). The onset of serious illness is appearing in increasingly younger cohorts. The US leads the world in the increase in deaths due to neurological diseases between 1979-81 and 2004-06 for the 55-65 age group (Pritchard et al., 2013).”
“During this same time period, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to food crops and in the percentage of GE food crops planted (Benbrook, 2012). We undertook a study to see if correlations existed between the rise of GE crops, the associated glyphosate use and the rise in chronic disease in the US.”
So if you think that GMO's are great, it would appear that you might just be onboard with the de-population agenda, because it sure seems to be working pretty well.
The bottom line is that if citizens of the State of Vermont want to require GMO labeling, that's their business and Starbucks, Monsanto and Grocery Manufacturers Association should stop interfering.
Freedom of choice
Labels: neil young