General Mills To Sell GMO-Free Cheerios

Latest company to acquiesce to demands on genetically-modified foods

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James Leynse / Corbis

In the wake of widespread backlash over the use of genetically-modified ingredients in Cheerios, General Mills announced on Thursday that it would begin distributing a GMO-free version of the product.

The company has been producing test products over the past several weeks and they should hit shelves soon, though a date has not been set, the Associated Press reports. Customers had been flooding the Cheerios Facebook page with comments demanding the company stop using GMOs, a result of Green America’s “GMO Inside” campaign, which asked General Mills to make Cheerios without genetically modified ingredients.

Though there is little scientific evidence that shows genetically modified ingredients are more harmful than GMO-free foods, consumer backlash against the products has grown in recent months, and General Mills is the latest to acquiesce.

General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas said the company will label original-flavor Cheerios as “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients,” the AP reports. Because the original flavor is made with oats, Siemienas said, it is easier for the company to avoid GMOs in their production.  Other flavors of the cereal will not be affected by the change largely due to their use of main ingredients like corn.

A spokesman for Green America said in a statement that the change is “an important victory in getting GMOs out of our food supply and an important first step for General Mills.”

[AP]

20 comments
SallyCharette
SallyCharette

You are missing the issue. Whatever the truth is about the nutritional value of GMO vs non-GMO, the issues are the dangers of monocultures, dangers of letting one or two companies control our food supply, and the amount of herbicide we'll ingest along with the GMO foods. Really upsetting to see this issue referred to as a diet trend. Time, you are dropping the ball consistently on this story, so I am dropping my long-time subscription. Shame on you.

bluesky88
bluesky88

GMO plants are designed to tolerate high levels of herbicides, this gives them a higher yield - not because they are actually higher yielding plants. Herbicide use in the US has risen by millions of pounds per year - at what environmental cost? This is not the future I want for my children. What is the worth of a wildflower? Ask a Monarch butterfly - if you can find one.

Worldly14
Worldly14

And today Post announced Grape Nuts will be non-GMO.  Consumers are speaking and producers (wise ones) are listening.

Worldly14
Worldly14

Glad to see that you revised this piece from the print version.  GMO crops are not good for the environment.  The feature Monsanto promotes about GMO seed is that it is "RoundUp Ready." which means GMO seeds have tons of pesticides applied.  You can debate the science on GMOs, but the science on pesticides is not new, shows significant health problems including cancer, and is bad for other species, groundwater, soil – the environment.  As use of GMO seeds has risen, the amount of pesticide has grown – this is a huge concern and is why they are a major health risk.

walshisajackrabbit
walshisajackrabbit

This is in response to the story that appeared in print:

I find it amazing that such a large company as General Mills taking such a stance with one of their iconic brands is only giving a one page story that mainly says, no one cares.

It read like another opinion piece by Bryan Walsh and not a news story. Walsh gives as fact that studies overwhelmingly support that GMO crops are easier on the environment then conventional ones? Its only easier on Monsanto's bank account since a farmer must use Monsanto seeds and their Roundup chemical spray for it to work. Recent studies (as recent as Walsh's story) now show that these weeds are standing up to Roundup and farmers have to use harsher chemicals.

This issue is much deeper then a one page piece (half page actually with a non-needed photo of Cheerios) that includes the GMO debate as a 'Health' fad.  The monopolizing of seeds by a gigantic international company is hardly a health fad. But maybe Walsh could have covered more of that issue if you didn't include a large picture of Cheerios.

I think 90% of your readers know what Cheerios look like but don't know the full debate of GMOs. Maybe next time Walsh can fill them in.

JackOlmsted
JackOlmsted

Retired staff scientist for the United States Navy Dr, Nancy Swanson has published several research studies that shows a strong correlation of a variety of health issues related to GMOs. http://www.examiner.com/gmo-in-seattle/nancy-swanson 


Retired Purdue professor and internationally recognized plant pathologist Don Huber explains the health risks associated with GMO food production in several presentations published on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dr+don+huber&sm=3


Big Ag is running a simular disinformation campaign that Big Tobacco developed back in the 1950s.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/smoke/readings/wienerarticle.html

McNamara
McNamara

This is Evidence of  what American Mom's can do with two simple tools:

~their pocketbooks

~and emails to corporate offices


Well done and let it be the first of many to go GM free in 2014!



RobertWager1
RobertWager1

There is zero evidence of harm from GMO's even according to the very GMO skeptical Europeans.  Here is the 2013 statement from the European National Academies of Science report on GM crops;


"There is no validated evidence that GM crops have

greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any other technology used in plant breeding."

MinnesotaFarmer
MinnesotaFarmer

Since there are no GMO oats, it was easy to do.  I see it as another food processor jumping on the anti GMO bandwagon to show how "sensitive" they are to the public.  It is really amazing how many products are now being labeled as non something or other that never had it in the first place.

The anti-GMO folks need to wake up because their objections to all GMO products are making them reject some very important advances.  Genetic modification of our food products has the ability to produce so many life saving products.  I'm afraid they will be throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Vivelevin
Vivelevin

Kaiser Permanente came out in 2012, in their Newsletter, advising people to avoid GMO's, processed food, etc.  You can Google that.  So to state that there is little or no evidence of any danger re GMO's, is misleading.  The obesity, disease, auto-immune systems breaking down, etc., has to come from somewhere and GMO's are no doubt a big contributor.  We should all be focused on putting Monsanto out of business.

joukot
joukot

It would be far more important to avoid excessive sugar in children's products than worry about GMOs. There is no doubt at all that too much sugar is dangerous not only for teeth but also cardiovascular system due to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Any problems with GMOs are highly theoretical.

McNamara
McNamara

@Vivelevin  I agree... As the study below shows, there has been a drastic 71% increase in the debilitating autoimmune disease "IBD" in our American children during the years 2000-2009. Studies have shown similar inflammation in pigs fed GMO animal feed. Its about time our regulatory bodies find out what is causing this occurrence in our kids:  


Science Daily June 25, 2013 — The largest investigation to date has found a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the past decade in the United States.

The new study, published online and scheduled for the August 2013 print issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine, found a 65 percent increase in IBD hospital discharges from 2000 to 2009. The number increased from 11,928 discharges in 2000 to 19,568 discharges in 2009.

IBD refers to a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). When looking at these two types of IBD individually, the authors found a 59 percent increase in CD discharges and a 71 percent increase UC discharges.

The study looked at more than 11 million hospitalization records of patients 20 years old and younger using a federal children's inpatient database. For the decade, they identified more than 61,000 pediatric discharges with an IBD diagnosis.




MinnesotaFarmer
MinnesotaFarmer

@Vivelevin Obesity, disease and auto-immune breakdowns existed long before GMO's.  Trying to blame old problems on new products is a good way to scare people and get noticed.  Sometimes saying there is no evidence, is because there is no evidence.

RobertWager1
RobertWager1

@McNamara@RobertWager1There have zero long term human studies on any food ever.  That is because it is scientifically virtually impossible to do such studies with humans and therefore the results are not good quality and therefore the entire idea is unethical.  but you already know this.  the question is why you keep calling for what you know is impossible.

lannit
lannit

@RobertWager1@McNamaraNo, RobertWager is the quack.  He's a pro-GMO ideologue and a technician at the University of Vancouve who masquerades as a credible genetic engineering scientist. Note his absolutist approach...from his perspective GMOs are all good...and there's not a single concern or shortcoming with them.  Thus he avoids mention of the downsides like Roundup contamination of Roundup Ready crops and the environment, superweeds and superbugs, and genetic pollution of non-GMO crops,  Don't try to debate him...it's not worth the effort.

McNamara
McNamara

@RobertWager1 @McNamara 


From a "consumer point of view"; who displays a more common sense approach in the protection of American children's health: the AAEM with a precautionary pro health approach, or the GM industry who fights a parents right to know what in their children's food.



RobertWager1
RobertWager1

@McNamaraThe AAEM are quacks. they peddle water as a cure for all ills., Homeopathy.  taking advice from them is not smart, but you already knew that too.

McNamara
McNamara

@RobertWager1  I'm sure you are also aware of the recommendations from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine who state: "because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks: 

Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.

  • Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.

  • Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.

  • For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.

http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

McNamara
McNamara

@RobertWager1 @McNamara  Simply because there is no truthful way you can attempt to state: " There is zero evidence of harm from GMO's"  without such studies.