Neil Young is seeking a new source for his daily latte. The rocker announced on his website this week that he’s boycotting Starbucks over the coffee company’s involvement in a lawsuit against the state of Vermont’s new requirements to label genetically modified ingredients.
“I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one,” Young wrote. “Starbucks has teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling.”
Vermont passed a law last spring that requires all food products containing GMOs to be labeled as such by July 1, 2016, with the exception of dairy products, meat, alcohol and food served in restaurants. Shortly afterward, four food industry organizations filed a lawsuit against the state that challenged the law’s constitutionality. Among the plaintiffs is the Grocery Manufacturers Association, whose more than 300 members include both Starbucks and Monsanto. (The other three plaintiffs are the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Food Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.)
“Monsanto might not care what we think — but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does,” Young wrote. “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.”
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Young closed his note by directing fans to the website of the organization SumOfUs to donate or sign a petition, and asking them to “pressure and call out members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.”
This isn’t the only recent instance of Neil Young rallying fans to join him in a boycott on environmental grounds. Back in August, he explained his reasons eschewing non-organic cotton and urged fans to do the same.