Neil Young tells fans to boycott Starbucks over GMO labelling lawsuit

Neil Young poses for a portrait at The Carlyle hotel in New York.
Neil Young poses for a portrait at The Carlyle hotel in New York. Victoria Will/Invision/AP, file

TORONTO – Neil Young is boycotting Starbucks.

In a message posted on his website, the Toronto-born singer said he is upset that Starbucks teamed up with agriculture giant Monsanto to sue the state of Vermont over a law that would require the labelling of food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“I used to line up and get my latte every day, but yesterday was my last one,” Young wrote on Nov. 9 from Vancouver. “Starbucks doesn’t think you have the right to know what’s in your coffee. So it [has] teamed up with Monsanto to sue the small U.S. state of Vermont to stop you from finding out.”

READ MORE: Meet Rachel Parent — the teen fighting for GMO labelling in Canada

Opponents claim the language of the law is too broad and violates free speech.

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“Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that’s aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labelled,” the 69-year-old singer wrote. “Amazingly, it claims that the law is an assault on corporations’ right to free speech.”

Starbucks has denied any role in the Vermont lawsuit.

“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labelling nor have we provided funding for any campaign,” the Seattle-based company said in a statement. “Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labelling or block Vermont State law.”

Earlier this year, the state passed a law that requires labels on processed GMO foods and for retailers to post signs and displays of unpackaged genetically engineered foods. Restaurants are exempt from the requirements.

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-with files from The Associated Press

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