Organic Consumers Association

Boycott Honest Tea!

Please send the letter below to Seth Goldman, co-founder and president of Honest Tea. Tell him you're boycotting Honest Tea, and all Coca-Cola products, because Honest Tea's parent company, Coca-Cola, spent $3.2 million to defeat GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington State.

Tell Goldman here's what he and Honest Tea can do if they want to win back your business:

 1. Support voter-initiated campaigns for GMO labels. Once voters start passing GMO labeling laws at the state level, then Congress and the President will take notice. When that happens, a push for change at the FDA will have a real chance.

2. Tell Coca-Cola to keep its money out of all future GMO labeling campaigns.


Seth Goldman is President of Honest Tea, the company he co-founded in 1998 with Barry Nalebuff. In 2008, Goldman and Halebuff sold 40 percent of the company to Coca-Cola for $43 million. In 2011, they sold the remainder of the company to Coca-Cola for an undisclosed amount.

Coca-Cola bought Honest Tea for one reason: to profit from the growing demand for organic beverages. The Honest Tea brand brought in $72 million in sales for Coke in 2011. Goldman himself is probably worth millions, between his sale of Honest Tea to Coca-Cola and his ongoing role as president.

Coca-Cola has donated millinos to defeat labeling laws. Why? Profits. The huge conglomerate doesn't want to have tell consumers that the high fructose corn syrup in Coke is made from cheap, genetically modified corn, and it surely doesn't want to have to modify its formula to exclude gentically modified ingredients. Even though it could. After all, in countries like the UK that require labels on products that contain GMOs, Coca-Cola products are GMO-free.

At least 90 percent of consumers support GMO labeling. When consumers asked Goldman why Coca-Cola and Honest Tea won't support the consumer's right to know, Goldman said:

"Honest Tea, an operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company, believes all food labeling requirements should be established by the federal government. We do not support state by state regulation of food labels, which places an unrealistic burden on the food and beverage industry."

Baloney. Everyone knows that forcing the FDA to support GMO labeling is a lost cause as long as ex-Monsanto lawyer, Michael Taylor, is installed there as the FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Foods. Would Coca-Cola and Honest Tea pour money into a campaign to require GMO labeling at the federal level? Doubtful. If the company supported a national GMO label, with the tens of millions of dollars they spend on lobbying and campaign contributions, GMOs would have been labeled a long time ago.

As a certified organic product, Honest Tea is GMO-free. As president of the Honest Tea operating unit, Goldman has a lot of clout - and a lot of money at his fingertips. As consumers, we have the power to boycott brands owned by companies that are spending big money to fight honest labeling laws.