Neil Young has been stirring up some controversy as of late with the upcoming release of his record The Monsanto Years. The album’s title is very obviously a jab at agricultural giant Monsanto, and it’s songs hint at flaws in other large corporations including Wal-Mart and Starbucks for the use of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and poor labor practices.
Monsanto, the company which is more than familiar with this kind of criticism from public scrutiny due to the way they treat farmers, was quick to respond via Billboard:
Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young. Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable. We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do – and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics.
Starbucks — who are criticized in the cleverly named song “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop” — also chimed in on the subject of GMO’s:
Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO [genetically modified organism] labeling. As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.
In the track “Big Box” Young sings “People workin’ part time at Walmart never get the benefits for sure. Might not make it to full-time at Walmart”, to which Wal-Mart responded:
As you might have seen recently, Walmart raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour. We’re proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life.
The entire album, which was originally set to release June 29th, is now available to stream. The Monsanto Years, recorded with the Promise of the Real, will be available in a CD/DVD combo, and will include a documentary about the making of the album.
Listen to the entire album stream below:
Want to hear The Monsanto Years live along with his other hits? You can catch Neil Young with the Promise of the Real live at WayHome this summer!