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Neil Young calls for Starbucks boycott

Neil Young
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    Neil Young has said “GOODBYE STARBUCKS!!!” in a posting on his official website. The folk icon is calling for a boycott of the ubiquitous coffee corporation over its reported backing of Monsanto in a lawsuit against the state of Vermont.

    Last spring, Vermont became the first state in the country to pass a law requiring labels for all products containing GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Monsanto, a company at the forefront of GMO production, is suing to to overturn the law before the July 1st, 2016 implementation date. Starbucks’ alleged involvement likely stems from the fact that it serves soy milk; 94% of American soy crops contain GMOs, according to a report from the Non-GMO Project (via Genetic Literacy Project).

    However, Starbucks claims it actually has no connection to the lawsuit. In a statement posted on their website, the coffee chain said:

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    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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    Still, Young’s post remains up on his site. It takes most of its words from a SumofUs petition calling for Starbucks to withdraw their support of Monsanto and end their membership with the “shady” Grocery Manufacturers Association, which also backs the lawsuit. Read the whole thing below.

    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.
    Tell Starbucks to withdraw support for the lawsuit — we have a right to know what we put in our mouths. 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.

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    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.

    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.

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    SumOfUs is already fighting back — they helped Vermont raise almost a quarter of a million dollars to defend themselves against Monsanto’s bullying! Help them by going to SumOfUs and registering to donate or sign a petition. The next strategic step is to pressure and call out members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the shadowy body leading the lawsuit. Your backing can help.

    Add your voice now. Tell Starbucks to stop supporting the lawsuit against Vermont.

    Thanks for caring!
    Neil Young
    Nov 9, 2014
    Vancouver BC Canada”

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