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Organic Consumers Association

Starbucks Agrees to Ban Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone from All Its Cafes by End of Year

For more information on OCA's efforts to convince Starbucks to use rBGH-free milk and Fair Trade coffee, please visit our Starbucks page.

Washington, D.C. - Starbucks Coffee Company has already made a New Year's resolution! Today Starbucks committed to make 100% of the chain's milk supply free of artificial growth hormones by December 31, 2007.

The Starbucks announcement follows nearly two years of pressure from Food & Water Watch, which launched the Hold the Hormones Campaign in 2006, asking consumers to demand the company buy better milk. A protest event planned for today in front of a Seattle store from 4-6pm (Westlake Center Starbucks, 401 Pine St.) will now be a victory celebration, complete with partying cows, cookies, and of course, rBGH-free milk.

In a letter addressed to Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, Starbucks Vice President of Sustainable Procurement Sue Mecklenburg stated, "...We have committed that by December 31, 2007, all of our fluid milk, half and half, whipping cream and eggnog used in U.S. company-operated stores will be produced without the use of rBGH."

"Our work has paid off," exclaimed Hauter.  "American consumers have made their voices heard: We want safer and healthier milk. We congratulate Starbucks for rising to the occasion."

Starbucks first considered offering hormone-free milk to customers in 2001. Today's letter to Food & Water Watch states that as of August 2007, 72 % of their total dairy supply is sourced from milk suppliers that do not use rBGH in their milk. The Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, or rBGH, is an artificial hormone that is often injected into dairy cows to increase their milk production. With a potential link between the hormone and higher risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer in humans, rBGH is banned in all 27 countries of the European Union, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

"Starbucks is doing the right thing," Hauter stated. "We look forward to other companies following Starbucks' lead and making the switch to healthier milk."

For more information on rBGH and the Hold the Hormones Campaign, visit http://www.HoldtheHormones.org/ .

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer rights group based in Washington, D.C. that challenges the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources. Visit http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

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