Quantcast

Starbucks Pressured to Switch to Non-GMO, Organic Milk

Food

Green America's GMO Inside campaign launched a major push this month asking Starbucks to serve only organic milk sourced from cows that are fed a diet free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

The switch to organic would prevent Starbucks customers from ingesting antibiotics used in industrialized farming—a common practice speeds animal growth and milk production, but has perpetuated the spread of potentially fatal, antibiotic -resistant "superbugs." Photo credit:
Wayne0216 / Shutterstock.com

Starbucks, the world's largest coffee chain with more than 20,000 locations in 62 countries, uses milk from cows that are fed GMO corn, soy, alfalfa and cottonseed.

If the coffee giant opts to make the change, Green America also wants a third-party verifier integrated into the transition to ensure the milk is, in fact, sourced from cows eating non-GMO feed.

“Starbucks already serves soy milk that is organic and non-GMO; consumers also deserve dairy milk held to the same standard and level of quality,” said Green America’s GMO Inside Campaign Director Nicole McCann in a prepared statement. “Consumers will put pressure on Starbucks to serve only organic, non-GMO milk. And the reality is that the process Starbucks put in place to remove rBGH from its milk source can be used to source organic milk.”

In 2008, in response to consumer and investor concerns, Starbucks committed to use rBGH-free milk (or milk free of a growth hormone injected in cows).

“Starbucks made the right move in removing growth hormones from its milk,”said Green America President and GMO Inside Co-Chair Alisa Gravitz. “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.”

Additionally, the switch to organic would prevent Starbucks customers from ingesting antibiotics used in industrialized farming—a common practice which speeds animal growth and milk production, but has perpetuated the spread of potentially fatal, antibiotic -resistant "superbugs."

“As a dues paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Starbucks has helped bankroll efforts to defeat GMO labeling in the U.S. for the past two years. It’s time for Starbucks to commit to transparency and the highest quality ingredients for their customers,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!

Winning the fight

GMO Inside’s campaign was launched on the heels of the consumer victory to get GMO ingredients out of General Mills' Cheerios.

The national non-profit mobilized 50,000 people to post comments on Cheerios’ Facebook wall and prompted more than 35,000 consumers to write in and telephone General Mills asking the major food producer to stop using GMOs in popular cereal brands. The initiative worked, General Mills complied and Post Cereals followed suit, agreeing to phase out GMOs from Grape Nuts, Chipotle, Ben & Jerry’s and Kashi.

Whole Foods has also pledged it will label GMOs sold in its stores by 2018.

Further GMO Concerns

A majority of GMOs are engineered to withstand herbicide chemicals. As a result, the use of Monsanto's Roundup has continued to increase, not decrease, leaving large trace amounts of the chemical on GMO foods sold in America's grocery stores. 

Lately, the emergence of “super weeds” resistant to Roundup require more toxic herbicides to be applied to crops. The Food and Drug Administration 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.

Visit EcoWatch’s GMO page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


tommaso79 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Rachel Licker

As a new mom, I've had to think about heat safety in many new ways since pregnant women and young children are among the most vulnerable to extreme heat.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to get confused about which foods are healthy and which aren't.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
Maximum heat indices expected in the continental U.S. on Saturday July 20. NOAA WPC

A dangerous heat wave is expected to boil much of the Central and Eastern U.S. beginning Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975, was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012. MANDEL NGAN / AFP / GettyImages

John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court Justice who wrote the opinion granting environmental agencies the power to regulate greenhouse gases, died Tuesday at the age of 99. His decision gave the U.S. government important legal tools for fighting the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signs the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule on June 19, replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that would have reduced coal-fired plant carbon emissions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Twitter

By Elliott Negin

On July 8, President Trump hosted a White House event to unabashedly tout his truly abysmal environmental record. The following day, coincidentally, marked the one-year anniversary of Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first as acting administrator and then as administrator after the Senate confirmed him in late February.

Read More Show Less
A timber sale in the Kaibab National Forest. Dyan Bone / Forest Service / Southwestern Region / Kaibab National Forest

By Tara Lohan

If you're a lover of wilderness, wildlife, the American West and the public lands on which they all depend, then journalist Christopher Ketcham's new book is required — if depressing — reading.

Read More Show Less
Somalians fight against hunger and lack of water due to drought as Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar (not seen) visits the a camp near the Mogadishu's rural side in Somalia on March 25, 2017. Sadak Mohamed / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

World hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year after decades of decline, a new United Nations (UN) report says. The climate crisis ranks alongside conflict as the top cause of food shortages that force more than 821 million people worldwide to experience chronic hunger. That number includes more than 150 million children whose growth is stunted due to a lack of food.

Read More Show Less