by PAUL FASSA
EVERY DOLLAR SPENT AT STARBUCKS SUPPORTS GMO'S, EMPOWERS MONSANTO AND HURTS GRASSROOTS GMO LABELING EFFORTS. HERE'S WHAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW…
If you take the time to examine your personal buying habits closely, it's rather obvious that those buying habits are based on decisions – informed or not. Most would agree, decisions are one of the more familiar ways we create our personal world. Yet somehow, there is often a big disconnect between how our little world decisions interface with and help create the larger world we share with others.
Often we are forced to reexamine our habitual choices in the light of new information or based on negative experience. Thankfully we all have the ability to redirect our power of choice by simply reconsidering the decisions we have made including where we spend our dollars. If Starbucks is on your favorites list, it's past time to reconsider that choice and perhaps redirect your dollars elsewhere. Read on to find out why.
"In the past 2 years alone, Starbucks has been a part of a GMA-led coalition that has donated more than $70 million dollars to defeat GMO labeling efforts in California and Washington State. By opposing GMO labeling, Starbucks has willingly climbed in bed with Monsanto and the GMA and is intentionally misleading customers about their commitment to "sustainability" and "ethical sourcing"." 
Let's start with an update from the "GMO Inside" Campaign to get GMOs out of Starbucks' dairy products.
On March 4, 2014, Green America's GMO Inside announced the launch of an anti-GMO campaign aimed to pressure Starbucks to stop using milk sourced from cows raised on GMO feed. So far the campaign has sent an impressive 150, 505 letters to Starbucks through the combined efforts of GMO Inside, Food Democracy Now!, Organic Consumers Association, and Friends of the Earth.
You can take action now by sending your own letter or the template letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, urging them to use only GMO-free organic milk in all their stores. Starbucks Serves 'Monsanto Milk' and it's Big on overpriced fake, unhealthy ingredients!
The days when a global company like Starbucks can hide GMOs from the customer are over. The age of transparency is here and I expect Starbucks will shortly realize it's in its best interest to eliminate GMOs from its supply chain," exclaims GMO Inside Co-Chair John W. Roulac. 
Starbucks represents a significant battle on the anti-GMO front that could prove once again that direct action via grassroots activism can, in fact achieve what the ballot box cannot. If Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the world with 23,187 stores in 64 countries dumps "Monsanto milk" and starts serving only organic, GMO-free milk at all their locations that victory alone could potentially influence other GMO guzzling food Behemoths to do the same. The fall of Starbucks could morph into a domino action of sorts.
Starbuck's milk comes from factory farmed cows also known as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). These poor cows are massively injected with antibiotics throughout their lifecycle, and fed an unhealthy diet of GMO feed including: corn, soy, alfalfa, and cotton seed. Cows have normally grazed on grass in open fields until CAFOs came along.
According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) in 2011 Starbucks used over, "93 million gallons of milk per year, enough to fill 155 Olympic-sized swimming pools." Of course, Starbucks has grown since then and no doubt the milk figures have climbed.
Back in 2007 the OCA successfully pressured Starbucks to stop using Monsanto's rBGH growth hormone milk. However, Starbucks cleverly turned OCA's victory into a disingenuous advertising claim by touting the fact that "since it stopped using milk that contains Monsanto's rBGH growth hormone, it uses 'GMO-free' milk." Nice try Monsanto!
Worth noting is the exponential rise in the use of antibiotics by Big Agri-business, which is undoubtedly a hidden factor behind the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, an undeniable health risk for all of us.
Starbucks and GMO Food Labeling
Starbucks is partnered with Monsanto and does not support those who want all GM foods labeled. "As a dues paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Starbucks has helped bankroll efforts to defeat GMO labeling in the US for the past two years. It's time for Starbucks to commit to transparency and the highest quality ingredients for their customers," states Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! 
Starbucks is one of approximately 300 companies that are dues paying members of the GMA. Their website states: they [GMA] "represent [lobby for] the makers of the world's favorite food, beverage and consumer products." GMA and Monsanto are the biggest opponents of GMO labeling laws and have spent millions to quash all legislative GMO labeling efforts around the country.
Vermont's Watershed GM (Genetically Modified) Food Labeling Law Target of a Lawsuit by Trade Groups
In case you aren't aware of the good news, On April 16th Vermont passed ACT 120, the first state law requiring all foods sold in the state that contain genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as of July 2016.
According to an article in the Burlington Free Press, Vermont legislators had anticipated legal challenges from Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co – leading producers of GMO crops. "Attorney General (AG) William Sorrell (… ) had advised lawmakers as they deliberated that the law would invite a lawsuit from those affected "and it would be a heck of a fight, but we would zealously defend the law." 
The AG and legislators were right. Not everyone is happy with Vermont's new labeling law ACT 120, especially: The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA); the Snack Food Association (SFA); International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA); the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). They all claim that food made with GMOs is safe and special labeling isn't needed. 
Absurdly and rather Orwellian like, the lawsuit against Vermont claims the state's GM labeling law is an assault on a corporations' right to free speech.  Read the lawsuit here:
Starbucks is among those teamed up with Monsanto via the GMA against Vermont. "So far, between 2012 and 2014, Monsanto and the GMA have successfully blocked GMO labeling legislation in over 30 states, at a price tag of more than $100 million! These funds were received from the 300+ members of the GMA, which include chemical/pesticide, GE seed, and processed food industries." 
SumOfUS sums it up: "There's much more at stake here than just whether GMO foods will be labeled in a single U.S. State. Vermont is the very first state in the U.S. to require labeling. Dozens of other states have said that they will follow this path — in order to encourage this, we need to ensure that Vermont's law stands strong."
SumOfUs is a consumer advocacy group. On their website, they describe themselves as: "a movement of consumers, workers and shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance the growing power of large corporations." Their members have already contributed almost a quarter of million dollars to Vermont's legal defense fund. They also started a petition to help Vermont. View the petition here.
What does Starbucks have to do with Vermont and GM labeling?
Despite denials, and appearances otherwise, Starbucks is involved in the court case against Vermont's new GMO labeling law and all GMO labeling laws by proxy. They are hiding behind the GMA, a shadowy lobbying group that is an enigma to most Americans.
This works very well for Starbucks. They can project a facade of GMO neutrality to the public while simultaneously attacking GMO labeling efforts behind the curtain. This stealth strategy will enable Starbucks to protect its bottom line along with their carefully crafted PR image. 
The Very Big Picture Conclusion
BOUGHT: The Hidden Story Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma & Your Food [GMO's]
Of course, there's nothing new about Corporations using the legal system to overturn the will of the people. This begs the question: should we CONTINUE to allow private corporations to "legally" extinguish the will of the people whenever it suites their agenda?
Or is reigning in corporations simply a moot point at this juncture? Some would agree that a handful of elites, the so-called 1%, are the actual owners of the "system."
As for Starbucks, voting with your dollars may ultimately be the best strategy to persuade them to change their Monsanto ways.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia's control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies' corruption. Paul's valiant contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are world renowned. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.
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