(NaturalHealth365) If you regularly visit one of the more than 23,000 Starbucks locations, you are supporting a company that supports anti-GMO labeling efforts. The chain of coffee shops publicizes its efforts in social responsibility, but pays money to an industry advocacy group that actively opposes your right to know what is in your food.
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are organisms, including plants and animals destined to become food products, whose genetic material, or DNA, has been altered. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will say – but does not require – that GM foods ought to be labeled as such. But, how does that help protect the public?
Of course, many of the largest food producers in the world are satisfied with the status quo, but many consumer advocates believe consumers should be able to choose and have a right to know about GMOs in their food.
Quiet opposition to GMO labeling
Starbucks states that its goal is, “ensuring coffee quality while promoting social, economic and environmental standards.” The company wants consumers to know about its efforts to support farming sustainability and to purchase fair trade coffee. What the coffee shop does not want customers to know is that it actively opposes laws to require labels on foods containing GMOs.
Does Starbucks really care about its customers?
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is a national organization that is part of a lawsuit against Vermont’s new GMO labeling law. Of course, Starbucks denies any role in the lawsuit opposing GMO labeling, and it claims that it is not allied with Monsanto – the giant chemical company that is a leader in toxic, GMO products.
However, Starbucks is a member of the GMA, and its dues are going, in part, to the lawsuit against Vermont’s labeling requirement. Directly or indirectly, a purchase of Starbucks coffee is a vote against GMO labeling.
The truth about Starbucks business practices exposed
Starbucks may portray itself as ‘socially responsible’ and a steward of the environment, but its numbers are not so favorable. In 2013, only 33.4 million pounds of coffee, or 8.4 percent of total coffee purchased, were purchased under fair trade guidelines. Plus, a paltry 1.1 percent of coffee, or 4.4 million pounds, was organic.
Note: Under the USDA National Organic Program, one of the requirements for foods to be labeled organic is that they are GMO-free or are made with GMO-free ingredients.
Until Starbucks stops paying money to support anti-GMO labeling efforts, you can let your voice be heard through your purchasing power. Instead of buying Starbucks coffee, buy your coffee from local cafes if they offer organic, free-trade options, and search for non-GMO coffee in the grocery store.
You can also use word of mouth to support fair trade, organic, and non-GMO coffee. Tell your friends about the potential dangers of GMO foods and the fact that Starbuck’s DOES support anti-GMO labeling laws.
Don’t underestimate the power of your voice. Call Starbucks to tell them your opinions. You can help protect yourself and others from the unknown risks of GMO foods. Never forget that your purchasing decisions do have a significant impact in this world.