Starbucks, the coffee giant, is being urged by Green America’s GMO Inside Campaign to stop serving conventional cows milk and rid their products of all genetically modified organisms (GMOs.) According to a press release, a social media campaign has been launched today to get the company’s attention by asking customers to speak out about the need for healthier, safer food options.
This is the same group that started a social media campaign that resulted in the removal of GMOs from Cheerios earlier this year. Now their target is Starbucks. The group is pushing for the company to remove milk products from cows that are fed GMOs. They are requesting only organic milk to be served in their nearly 20,000 coffee shops.
Having already made the commitment to serve rBGH-free milk six years ago, Starbucks is now being pressured into using only milk from cows that are not fed GMOs. Currently, the cows are fed genetically modified grains, such as corn, cotton seed and alfalfa. Organic cows milk is the only way to avoid this, since there is currently no labeling system in place to indicate whether a product contains GMOs or not.
Though Starbucks has rBGH-free and organic, non GMO soy milk on their menu, it is not enough, according to Nicole McMann, director of the Green America’s GMO Inside Campaign. “Customers will put pressure on Starbucks to serve only organic, non-GMO milk,” she said.
GMO Inside takes the stance that large companies, like Starbucks, cannot mislead people or hide what is in their food and drinks. We are in an “age of transparency” and the practice of using GMO milk is being called out. If they set the example, smaller companies are more likely to take notice and follow suit.
When the group launched the campaign to get GMOs out of Cheerios, they got 50,000 people to post on the company’s Facebook wall, urging them to take action. They met their goal when General Mills announced they would make the cereal GMO-free. Other companies that have agreed to go remove GMOs include Ben & Jerry’s, Chipotle, Kashi and Whole Foods, which is slowly phasing them out over the next four years.
GMOInside.org urges customers to “take action now” by signing the petition, calling Starbucks to voice their concerns, downloading a ticket to give to the counter person at their local Starbucks or post on a message about organic milk on their Facebook page. They also offer the ability to send a tweet to Starbuck’s Twitter page regarding the GMOs in their coffee drinks.
That is exactly what they have done too. Starbuck’s Facebook page has been bombarded with posts from customers urging them to stop serving GMOs. Karen Pace posted, “Please lead by example so my family and I can come back and enjoy your products.” Randy Boynton said, “I’ll be avoiding Starbucks until they wise up and use organic milk.” Doris Martinez urged, “Please use organic milk!” Many similar posts were made, with pleas for the company to stop using GMOs or they would lose their business.
By Tracy Rose