Neil Young Boycotts Starbucks over GMOs; Starbucks Responds

Neil Young Boycotts Starbucks over GMOs; Starbucks Responds
Next time you're lining up for your grande iced soy mocha with no whipped cream at Starbucks, don't expect to see Neil Young waiting next to you. That's because the songwriter is boycotting the coffee chain, and he announced this with an open letter on his website.

The dismissive letter is titled "Goodbye Starbucks!!!" It criticizes Starbucks for its alleged alliance with biotech food corporation Monsanto in a Vermont lawsuit that attempts to block the state's law requiring genetically modified foods (GMO) to be labelled. Young says that he used to get a latte every day, but he won't shop at Starbucks anymore.

Young's post is in support of an anti-Starbucks petition on SumOfUs.org. Young's letter is largely lifted directly from the wording of the petition.

"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," the letter reads. "But whatever you think of GMOs, corporations should not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate, democratic decisions with strong public backing."

Read Young's letter over at his website.

Starbucks, on the other hand, has issued a statement saying that it isn't part of the Vermont lawsuit and that it remains neutral on the issue of GMO labelling. Read its statement below.

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.


Young released his album Storytone this month on Reprise Records.