In the seven months since GMO Inside launched its campaign pressuring Starbucks to ditch conventional milk from cows fed GMOs in favor of organic milk, more than 150,000 consumers have formally petitioned Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to do just that. On Sunday, Oct. 5, America's largest coffee chain will feel even more heat, as eight national groups spearhead a social media day of action on the issue.
The Starbucks petition drive features the efforts of Green America's GMO Inside campaign, Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now!, Food Revolution Network, Institute for Responsible Technology, Cornucopia and FoodBabe.
The Oct. 5 national day of action core group consists of GMO Inside, Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth, Mamavation, and FoodBabe. The groups are arming their members with coordinated content and postings for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and will jointly use the
Green America's GMO Inside Campaign Director Nicole McCann said: "When 150,000 Starbucks consumers send a message to the CEO's office, you would expect a company of Starbucks' caliber and reputation to sit up and pay attention. We are hoping that the combination of the overwhelming message from our petition and upcoming social media day will get Starbucks off the dime in dumping milk from cows fed GMOs."
"Starbucks made the right move in removing growth hormones from its milk," stated Green America President Alisa Gravitz, who also is co-chair of GMO Inside. "However, Starbucks has sent confusing messages to its customers by stopping short of addressing long-term environmental as well as human and animal health concerns. In contrast, Pret A Manger, a growing and thriving quick service chain, already serves only organic dairy and soy at comparable prices."
GMO Inside and its partners are urging Starbucks to sell organic milk as a way to prevent the sourcing of milk from cows fed with GMOs. A majority of all GMOs are engineered to tolerate being sprayed with herbicide, and/or to produce insecticide (Bt) in every cell of the plant. All of these seeds are coated in neonicotninoids (neonics), a neurotoxic insecticide. As a result, the use of chemical herbicides, like Roundup, has continued to increase, not decrease, as GMO advocates promised. Lately, the emergence of "super weeds" resistant to Roundup require more toxic herbicides to be applied to crops, with even more toxic 2,4-D and Duo Enlist hitting the market soon.
Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager with Friends of the Earth's Food and Technology Program, said: "The planting of massive monocultures, spraying of herbicide-resistant feed crops with glyphosate, and the widespread use of neonicotinoids has led to the loss of critical wildlife habitat and contributed to the alarming decline of beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies. Roundup is a potent weed killer that pollutes our water and decimates milkweed, the only food monarch butterfly offspring eat."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created and profit from them. GMOs have yet to be proven safe for humans, animal, or the planet by independent long-term studies.