On Tuesday, Starbucks announced that most of its West Coast and New England coffeehouses will no longer be serving dairy products from cows given Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a synthetic supplement that stimulates milk production. The move has been hailed by a number of activist groups, most notably the anti-technology, anti-corporation, and anti-globalization goons at Food and Water Watch, which has been vocally berating Starbucks to go rBGH-free. Along with the Organic Consumers Association, Food and Water Watch has organized protests encouraging customers to call Starbucks executives and claim that the livestock hormone — used at a little over a third of all dairy farms — “may be bad for people.“What sort of evidence have these dairy rabble-rousers presented to substantiate their fear-mongering? About as much as you’d expect: zero. That’s because rBGH is chemically indistinguishable from its naturally occurring counterpart, bovine somatotropin. And it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for commercial sale for over a decade. Starbucks’ decision to banish rBGH comes less than a month after the coffee behemoth announced that half of its stores would no longer be selling items with trans fat. At this rate of capitulation to activist pressure, look for Starbucks to take the caffeine out of its coffee, the chocolate out of its sweets, and the whipped cream out of its frozen drinks by June. Who knows? Maybe a beverage business can live off CD sales alone.
Hey, Starbucks! I’ll Take Mine De-Calf . . .