To: Howard Mark Schultz, Chairman & CEO of Starbucks, Gregg Steinhafel, President, CEO & Chairman of Target Corp., and Robert L. Edwards, Chairman, President and CEO of Safeway
Safeway, Starbucks and Target: Stop Bankrolling Anti-GMO Food Labeling Efforts!
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), of which your company is a dues-paying member, contributed more than $2 million last year to defeat Proposition 37, a California citizens' initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products. Now, the GMA is so far the largest donor to defeat a similar initiative, I-522, on the ballot on November 5 in Washington state.
By supporting the GMA, your company is supporting efforts to deny me a basic consumer right, one that consumers in 64 other countries have. I will not spend one more dime on your products until your company supports my right to know if my food contains GMOs.
Specifically, I want you to support I-522 by making a substantial donation to the YES on I-522 campaign. I'm also asking you to demand that the GMA support consumers' right to know, and if it won't, that your company withdraw from the GMA. The New York Times just published a new poll showing that 93% of consumers want mandatory labeling of GMOs. As a consumer, I choose not to support your company or your products until you support my right to know.
Why is this important?
Safeway, Starbucks and Target have something in common: They’re all dues-paying members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a group that is determined to deny you the right to know if your food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last year, the GMA spent $2 million to help defeat California’s Prop 37, a citizens’ initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of GMOs in food products in California. (In all, GMA and its members contributed about half of the $46 million spent to defeat Prop 37). Now the GMA is at it again, pouring money into the campaign to defeat a similar initiative, I-522, in Washington State. By supporting the GMA, Safeway, Starbucks and Target are working to defeat your right to know. The battle in Washington State will have a huge impact on consumer rights. If I-522 passes, food manufacturers will likely reformulate their products, rather than label them. And if they reformulate their products in Washington State, they’ll likely reformulate them for all states – just as they’ve reformulated them in Europe and other countries that have GMO labeling laws. If we want the same right that consumers in 64 other countries have, we must demand that right. We must win in Washington State in November. We can start by making it clear to Safeway, Starbucks and Target that we won’t support their companies or their products, until they support our right to know and pressure the GMA to do the same.