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Starbucks Customers Petition For Bug-Free Beverages

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 12:50pm

GREENSVILLE, S.C. (Change.org) – A new petition campaign on Change.org is calling on Starbucks to stop using crushed insects to color its strawberry drinks.

South Carolina resident Daelyn Fortney launched the campaign on Change.org following allegations that Starbucks quietly replaced ingredients in its strawberry flavoring to include cochineal extract, a product made from crushed insects.

"It takes 70,000 cochineal insects to produce 1 pound of the red dye in Starbucks' strawberry flavoring," said Fortney. "It's great that Starbucks is committed to reducing their use of artificial ingredients, but what would be even more admirable is if Starbucks considered other natural, plant-based additives such as beet, purple sweet potato, black carrot and paprika."

“Thanks to the petition I launched on Change.org, in addition to the numerous posts on Twitter and Facebook, Starbucks can see that this is an issue that is important to many people around the world,” she added.

Within days of launching her campaign, Fortney had recruited hundreds of supporters on Change.org, a social network for good. She plans to raise awareness on Facebook, Twitter, and via a website she co-founded called This Dish Is Veg.

“Daelyn’s campaign is clearly resonating with people who want to know what’s in their food,” said Change.org Senior Campaigner Pulin Modi. “Despite being busy with a full-time job and family in South Carolina, Daelyn went to Change.org to recruit hundreds of supporters from across the US.”

Daelyn says she’ll continue to campaign until Starbucks uses an alternative, such as beet extract, which she believes will increase the company’s appeal to vegetarian, vegan, and kosher diets, as well as those who are allergic to cochineal. Her campaign on Change.org has been covered by CBS News, ABC News, The Boston Globe, International Business Times, among other outlets.

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