Starbucks and Monsanto Sue Vermont-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Starbucks and Monsanto teamed up to sue Vermont over a law that would require food manufacturers to label genetically modified foods.
Starbucks is a member of a trade association that challenged Vermont’s genetically modified food labeling law, but the claim that Starbucks and Monsanto “teamed up” isn’t true.
The eRumor began with a petition launched by the consumer advocacy group SumofUs. The petition called for customers to urge Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit challenging Vermont’s genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling law.
“Starbucks doesn’t think you have the right to know what’s in your coffee. So it’s teamed up with Monsanto to sue the small U.S. State of Vermont to stop you from finding out,” the petition states.
Vermont’s GMO food labeling law, Act 120, would require food manufacturers to label all GMO foods sold in the state. It’s scheduled to go into effect in July 2016.
A number of trade associations challenged the labeling law in federal court. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Snack Foods Association, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of Manufacturers filed the lawsuit.
The eRumor’s claim that Starbucks and Monsanto “teamed up” on the lawsuit appears to stem from Starbucks’ membership in the GMA. The GMA and Monsanto have been two of the biggest opponents of GMO labeling laws around the country and have poured millions of dollars into the effort.
However, Starbucks is just one of more than 300 companies that belong to the GMA, so claims that Starbucks teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont are inaccurate. In fact, Starbucks says it hasn’t provided financial support for the GMA’s efforts to fight GMO labeling requirements.
“We have not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling. We continue to explore how we can best provide our customers the information they need to make informed decisions about their food and beverage choices,” a Starbucks spokesperson told NPR.