“If activists get Starbucks to ‘surrender’ and dump all food that includes bio-ingredients, the really big fish — food suppliers like Kraft and the national grocery chains — will roll over, too.”
That’s The San Francisco Chronicle on the mission of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), now protesting at Starbucks restaurants in 300 U.S. cities. OCA head Ronnie Cummins‘s strategy “has worked before. In November, Trader Joe’s, a billion-dollar upscale grocery chain ‘capitulated,’ in Cummins words, and pulled all products” containing genetically improved ingredients.
To force a Starbucks “surrender” and take the anti-biotech battle to larger fronts, Cummins and his group “spread false fears about safe foods,” says the American Council on Science and Health: “Anti-biotechnology activists engaged in a week of ‘direct action’ at Starbucks Coffee shops this week aim to target you over the next few days with false and misleading information… Like the misleading Alar in apples scare, activists often use products associated with children — like milk and ice cream — and falsely link these products with horrible ills such as cancer to evoke the greatest fear…
“In 1989 environmental activists and their public relations firm Fenton Communications claimed that the use of the plant growth regulator Alar by apple growers was causing cancer in children… The claims made national headlines… They turned out to be false… Today, more than a decade later, the same public relations firm and the same activists are in Seattle and at local corner coffee shops across the country spreading false fears.
“Biotechnology helps farmers produce more safe and nutritious food, using less land and less input. This is good for consumers, good for the environment and good for farmers-misleading fear campaigns, on the other hand, are not.”