In part through the effort of a student in Antioch’s MA Programs in Leadership and Change (CCC), Starbucks has committed to use 100% rBGH-free milk products by Dec. 31, 2007. The artificial growth hormone rBGH is used to increase milk production in cows, but is potentially linked with higher risks of breast, prostate and colon cancer in humans and has been banned in many countries, including most of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia.
Kathy Pryor, a student in Antioch’s Master’s in Environment and Community program, worked part time this past summer for the Food and Water Watch on their local campaign to convince Starbucks to use rBGH free milk in all its locations in the United States. Earlier this year, Starbucks had increased the percentage of rBGH-free dairy products from 27% to 37%, but activists continued to apply pressure for the other 60%. Pryor had planned a protest on behalf of Food and Water Watch Friday, Aug. 24, but the protest turned out to be a celebration when Starbucks made its announcement. Other CCC students joined Pryor for the celebration in downtown Seattle, including two dressed in cow costumes.
For more information about this tremendous victory for progressive change, read the Food and Water Watch press release. For more pictures of the event, visit this page.