Neil Young vows Starbucks boycott over GMOs

November 18, 2014
2 Comments

NEW YORK – Rock icon Neil Young has pledged to stop drinking at Starbucks over an industry challenge to laws on genetically modified crops, but the coffee giant says the charges are false.

The Canadian songwriter and environmental activist urged his fans to put pressure on Starbucks over a lawsuit filed by an industry group against the U.S. state of Vermont, the first state to pass a law requiring labels on genetically modified products.

Young accuses Starbucks of backing the industry group challenging the GMO law.

“I used to line up and get my latte every day, but yesterday was my last one,” Young recently wrote on his blog in a post titled “GOODBYE STARBUCKS!!!”

“Whatever you think of GMOs, corporations should not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate, democratic decisions with strong public backing,” Young wrote.

Young was referring to a lawsuit filed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, an industry group that fought a similar ballot initiative in California.

The group in June announced a lawsuit against Vermont’s law on constitutional grounds, arguing that only the federal government had the role of “regulating nationwide distribution and labeling practices that facilitate interstate commerce.”

Starbucks said that the activists’ charges that it was involved in the lawsuit were “completely false.”

“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign,” it said in a statement, while adding that as a chain it preferred a “national solution” on the issue.

Activists have accused Starbucks of involvement as a member of the industry group. Young accused Starbucks of “hiding behind the shadowy ‘Grocery Manufacturers Association.”

Young acknowledged that Starbucks has been progressive on other issues including labor conditions and gay rights. The coffee giant has also committed to reducing its climate change footprint.

U.S. biotech companies such as Monsanto have been at the forefront of genetically modified crops, which they say can improve agriculture.

While common in the United States, genetically modified crops are banned or heavily regulated in many countries, including European Union members and Japan, due to public concerns.

And just for the heck of it, here’s a younger Neil Young playing “Heart of Gold” in 1971:

You may be interested

This week in the Peace Corps: Building sustainable recycling projects
Changemakers
120 views
Changemakers
120 views

This week in the Peace Corps: Building sustainable recycling projects

The Tico Times - August 13, 2018

From the Caribbean to the Pacific, Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) work with local communities on environmental awareness, trash collection systems,…

We want them alive: Costa Rica’s reckoning
#MeToo
169 views
#MeToo
169 views

We want them alive: Costa Rica’s reckoning

Katherine Stanley - August 13, 2018

I can’t stop thinking about them. María and Arancha. Arancha and María. They were murdered in a country I love. They were…

Facing terrorism charges and death threats, thousands of Nicaraguans flee to Costa Rica
Latin America
302 views
Latin America
302 views

Facing terrorism charges and death threats, thousands of Nicaraguans flee to Costa Rica

AFP / Marco Sibaja - August 12, 2018

RÍO SAN JUAN, Nicaragua—On a rainy morning in Nicaragua's south, two men step out of the jungle and into a…