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.”