Our personal shopping habits are based on decisions we make, whether we are informed about the things we buy or not. These small decisions create not only our personal world, but also the one we share with other people.s1

It is not so unusual to chance the previous decisions and choices we use to make due to some new information we`ve come across or some negative experience we`ve had. This way we reconsider our decisions about where we spend our money.

In case you are a Starbucks fan, you should read this article. It will uncover some things you didn`t know, which will definitely make you delete it from your favorite list.

Starbucks, only in the last 2 years, as part of the coalition led by GMA, has donated more than 70 million dollars with the purpose of defeating GMO labeling efforts made in the states of California and Washington. This means that they are supporting Monsanto and the GMA which are intentionally misleading their customers that they are committed to ethical sourcing and sustainability. And this cannot be further from the truth!s2

First of all, we need to mention the GMO Inside campaign, aimed to pressure Starbucks to remove all GMO`s from their dairy products. In 2014, Green America`s GMO Inside announced the anti-GMO campaign, launched with the purpose of pressuring Starbucks to stop using milk from cows feed with GMO food. They`ve sent more than 150,000 letters to the company, together with Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth and Food Democracy Now!.

If you want to do something, you can send your own letter or use a template, to the CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz, and urge the company to stop using GMO milk in their coffee shops. Not only that they are serving Monsanto Milk, but their fake, unhealthy ingredients are overpriced as well.

The Co-Chair of GMO Inside, John W. Roulac, has stated that: “Global companies like Starbucks have been hiding their GMO products from the customers, but those days are over now. We live in the age of transparency, where it is expected from the companies to eliminate any GMO from the supply chain. This is in the best interest of everyone.”


This anti-GMO fight with Starbucks can be another proof that grassroots activism can give results, that direct action is the best action you can take. Starbucks is one of the biggest coffee chains in the world, until now they have 23,187 stores in 64 countries. If they stop supporting Monsanto and start serving organic milk, this will be a great victory which may influence other GMO-supporting companies to do the same. It can even cause a sort of a domino result.s3

The dairy products used by Starbucks come from CAFOs- concentrated animal feeding operation, or factory farmed cows, which are injected with antibiotics during their entire life and fed with GMO feed like soy, corn, cotton seed and alfalfa. Before CAFOs, cows were grazed on grass in open fields.

In 2011, the Organic Consumers Association has stated that Starbucks has used more than 93 million gallons of milk per year. This amount can fill 155 swimming pools with Olympic size! Since 2011, Starbucks has grown even more, meaning that this number is much bigger now.

In 2007, the OCA had success in pressuring Starbucks to stop using Monsanto`s rBGH milk containing growth hormone. But the company turned this into a deceitful advertising claim, saying that now they are using only GMO-free milk. Nice try!

Here we have to note that Big Agri-business is using more and more antibiotics, a fact hidden behind the spread of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, which represent a great risk for our health.

GMO food labeling

As a partner of Monsanto, Starbucks is against GM food labeling. As stated by Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!:

“Starbucks is a paying member of GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association), so they are financing the efforts to defeat GMO labeling in the U.S. for 2 years now. We are trying to pressure Starbucks to be transparent and to use only high-quality ingredients.”

The GMA, besides Starbucks, has about 300 dues paying members. As stated on their webpage: “GMA are the makers of the world`s favorite foods, beverages and consumer products.” On the other hand GMA, along with Monsanto, are the biggest opponents of the laws for GMO food labeling. They have spent millions of dollars to oppose all US legislative regarding GMO labeling.

GM Food labeling law of Vermont`s Watershed- Target of a lawsuit!

The good news is that on April 16th this year, Vermont passed ACT 120, making it the first state law which requires all foods with GM ingredients to be labeled as of July 2016.

The “Burlington Free Press” has published an article stating that Vermont legislators already knew that they`ll be facing legal challenges from Monsanto and DuPont Co (the leading GMO crops manufacturer). “William Sorrell, the Attorney General, has advised the lawmakers that their law would result in a lawsuit from the affected party. The fight will be hard, but they are ready to defend the law.”

And they were right. Some organizations were unhappy with the ACT 120, like: the National Association of Manufacturers, International Dairy Foods Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Snack Food Association, which claim that GMO foods are safe, so there is no need of special labeling.

As absurd as it may sound, the lawsuit against Vermont claims that the GM labeling law is assaulting the right to free speech of the corporations! Starbucks has teamed with Monsanto, via the GMA, against Vermont. Between 2012 and 2014, Monsanto along with the GMA have opposed and blocked GMO labeling laws in more than 30 states across the country; they had to spend more than 100 million dollars for this purpose, funds paid by the members of the GMA, which include manufacturers of processed food, GE seed and chemicals and pesticides.

As summed by “SumOfUs”:

“It is not only the question whether GMO foods are going to be labeled in a single US State. Vermont is the first US state which has required labeling, and more other states are planning to follow this example. We need to encourage this and make sure that Vermont`s law stands strong.”

“SumOfUs”, a consumer advocacy group, describe themselves as a movement of workers, consumers and shareholders who are speaking with one voice in order to fight and counterbalance the power of the large corporations, which is growing each day. Until now, the members of SumOfUs have contributed about a quarter of million dollars to the Vermont`s legal defense fund and started a petition to help Vermont.

Connection between Starbucks and GM labeling

Even though Starbucks is trying to deny it, they are involved in the lawsuit against Vermont`s new GMO labeling law and all similar laws by proxy. The company is hiding behind the GMA, which is a lobbying group that stays a shadowy enigma to most people in the U.S. This way Starbucks protects their façade of GMO neutrality in front of their customers and the public, while attacking the GMO labeling laws behind the curtain.

The Big picture

Corporations using the legal system to overturn people`s will is nothing new and surprising. But the question remains: should we allow them to kill the will of the people in a “legal” way whenever it suites their needs?

Some would say that the so-called 1%, the elites, are the actual owners of the system. Does this mean that we are powerless? Or is there something we can actually do?