Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Neil Young vows Starbucks boycott over GMOs

November 18, 2014

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

Costa Rica closes embassy in Venezuela as cost-cutting measure
Costa Rica
1620 views
Costa Rica
1620 views

Costa Rica closes embassy in Venezuela as cost-cutting measure

AFP - October 1, 2020

Costa Rica on Wednesday announced the closure of the country's embassy and consulate general in Caracas, effective Thursday, as part…

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal
Costa Rica
21729 views
Costa Rica
21729 views

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal

The Tico Times - October 1, 2020

Protesters blocked roads and ports in different parts of Costa Rica on Wednesday in a protest against planned negotiations with…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30
Costa Rica
5593 views
Costa Rica
5593 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 30, 2020

Costa Rica announced 24 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 904, according to official data…