New Year’s Resolution: Boycott Starbucks, Support GMO Labeling

new year's resolution starbucks boycott shows starbucks cup on tableLast year, my New Year’s resolutions focused on small changes that can improve your health and our environment. This year, in addition to the Shop Drop Challenge, I’m just making just one New Year’s resolution—which has the power to change everything.

My New Year’s resolution is to boycott Starbucks—as well as other corporations that fight GMO labeling—and to choose organic whenever possible so I can avoid GMOs. Because I believe that consumer action is the only thing that will win this fight.

This year’s New Year’s resolution is all about genetically modified foods. I pledge to avoid GMOs by choosing organic as much as possible—and boycott companies fighting GMO labeling.

It freaks me out that 85% of the foods on supermarket shelves contain GMO ingredients. If you’re eating anything made from corn (including high fructose corn syrup), sugar or soy, chances are it’s GMO.

Let me be clear: I don’t believe that genetically manipulating food is bad in concept. But the reality is that most GMO foods are designed to better withstand high doses of pesticides—and I know those are dangerous.

That’s why I—along with 93% of Americans—want the United States to join the 64 other nations that label GMOs on food packaging, so we can make an informed choice about what we buy.

And that’s why it makes me want to cry when I see what seem to be infinitely deep pockets of companies like Monsanto, which profits from the sale of GMOs and pesticides and spent $37 million fighting labeling in Colorado this year (as well as $45 million in California in 2012).

According to Natural News, these companies paid to fight labeling in Colorado alongside Monsanto: DuPont, Dow, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Kraft, Land O’ Lakes, General Mills, Hersheys, Smuckers, Bimbo Bakeries, Kelloggs and ConAgra.

My New Year’s resolution is to boycott all of them.

But what about Starbucks? In November, a petition targeted the company for “teaming up” with Monsanto to sue Vermont, which passed a law in May of this year that would make it the first state to require labeling of all foods containing GMOs, beginning in July 2016. Signers were encouraged to protest by boycotting Starbucks.

It’s true that the Vermont GMO labeling law is being challenged—by the Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of Manufacturers and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, of which Starbucks is a member. Together, these groups filed a complaint in Vermont’s federal district court, which called the law as unconstitutional. But did Starbucks take any action on their own? Nope.

On the plus side, Starbucks’ milk is free of RBGh, the growth hormone that’s linked to dangerous hormonal changes; there’s also an organic soy milk option. For kids, there are USDA Certified Organic milk boxes.

But Starbucks still does not offer USDA Certified Organic milk, which is currently the only surefire way to avoid GMOs, and their coffee is not fair trade. As Food Babe investigated, Starbucks’ decaf is treated by ethyl acetate (also found in nail polish), they pump their smoothies full of high fructose corn syrup, and there’s propylene glycol (also found in antifreeze) in the apple fritters. Yikes!

It’s for these reasons that my New Year’s resolution is to boycott Starbucks—as well as other corporations that fight GMO labeling—and to choose organic whenever possible so I can avoid GMOs. Because I believe that consumer action is the only thing that will win this fight.

What’s your resolution—want to join mine? Please leave me a comment, thanks!

Photo: GrubStreet



  1. Thanks for the reminder to be diligent and make a difference! I am joining you in boycotting all those offensive companies that don’t trust us to make our own decisions about ingesting GMO’s. Admittedly, I don’t think I will have much problem not patronizing those companies but the starbucks thing is hard. However,I am way more disappointed in them than in need of the convenience…..

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Thanks Maria! I know, it IS hard…Starbucks is everywhere! But I agree, it’s so worth it. Thanks for joining me, and for commenting!

  2. I have been boycotting Starbucks since the first time I bought some of their overprpriced, burnt tasting coffee. I’m with you,

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Enough is enough, right?!? Let’s go back to getting coffee in a porcelain cup, and giving ourselves five minutes to drink it THERE. More neighborhood cafes, less Starbucks!


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