Monsanto, Walmart and Starbucks Respond to Neil Young's Lyrics

BY Josiah HughesPublished Jun 16, 2015

Neil Young has momentarily moved on from his "Honour the Treaties" series to stick it to GMOs with his forthcoming new album The Monsanto YearsThe release sees him call out a series of massive corporations with its direct, straightforward lyrics. Now, many of those corporations have responded.

Billboard reached out to some of the big brands Young calls out on the album, asking them to respond to the lyrics.

The titular Monsanto, who are blasted throughout the LP, offered the following statement about his lyrics:

Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young. Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable. We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do – and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics.

Coffee company Starbucks is also put on blast for their use of GMOs, particularly in the metaphor-free single "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop." The company offered the following reply: 

Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO [genetically modified organism] labeling. As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.
In the song "Big Box," Young sings, "People workin' part time at Walmart never get the benefits for sure / Might not make it to full-time at Walmart." The massive big box chain defended their policies with the following statement:

As you might have seen recently, Walmart raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour. We're proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life.

Finally, Chevron is put on blast for allegedly donating millions "to the pipeline politicians" in Young's song "People Want to Hear Songs About Love." The company declined to comment on the matter despite receiving Billboard's request.

The Monsanto Years will arrive on June 29 through Reprise.

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