Neil Young, a popular classic rock artist and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame (he was in inducted in 1995), has long been a critic of corporate America and an advocate for environmental causes.
His recent anti-tar sands tour was criticized by Canadian federal officials, after he called a major operation outside of Ft. McMurray, Alberta a “wasteland” that “looks like Hiroshima.”
Young also lashed out at the corporate side of rock (and some major U.S. beverage companies for that matter, see the video at the bottom of this article) with his song ‘This Note’s for You,’ released in 1988.
Now, he’s taking on what’s becoming one of the biggest environmental and health catastrophes in the world — genetically modified crops, specifically cotton.
Neil Young Takes on GMO Cotton
“Today, I have taken the steps to remove sales of non-organic t-shirts and other products that damage the Earth from my concerts and my web stores,” Young wrote on his website. “I vow to speak up & to do what I can to PROTECT EARTH.”
Young noted that cotton is “second for most pesticide use of all crops” and that it “uses 25% of all of the petrochemical based pesticides, fungicides and herbicides globally.”
He went on to say that the United States EPA considers 7 of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton as “possible, likely or probable” human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin) and noted how they persist in the soil, water and environment to cause harm.
Young also pointed out that hemp is a better option than cotton and advocated for its use instead.
Genetically modified cotton is coming under fire in the United States after a massive superweed outbreak of amaranth resistant to the herbicides sprayed on the crops led to the request of the authority to re-use a banned, highly toxic herbicide on up to three million acres in Texas; the EPA has since denied the request.
On September 13, Young will continue to raise awareness at the famous Farm Aid concert series along with Jack White, Willie Nelson and others.
Young Not All Just Talk – Goes Organic
Young also announced that he is boycotting all non-organic cotton and called on his fans to join home.
On his last tour of Europe, he distributed free organic cotton t-shirts to fans according to Rolling Stone magazine, and he also recently announced a collaboration with Rainforest Connection to further add to his environmental advocacy efforts. He also said he has taken steps to remove non-organic t-shirts and other products that “damage the Earth” from his store online.
The message isn’t just a footnote on his website, either: it appears front row-center on NeilYoung.com.
For more on Young’s career and music, check out his website, you can also view the video below in which he takes on corporate sponsorship (and takes a few shots at Budweiser, Coke, Pepsi and other big corporations, along with an infamous Michael Jackson moment).
Thanks for reading and thanks to the page Occupy Food for the story tip!
P.S. You can subscribe to our email list for more updates (and receive a free eBook) by clicking on this link.