Sunday, January 5, 2014
General Mills Announces Dropping GMOs From Cheerios
Cheerios Drops GMOs From Cheerios
By David Pierson
No more GMOs in your Cheerios.
General Mills Inc. said it is no longer using genetically engineered ingredients to make its signature cereal.
The switch comes after a nearly yearlong campaign by a consumer activist group to pressure General Mills to drop genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, from the popular breakfast staple.
The food giant said Thursday that it has stopped sourcing bioengineered corn starch and sugar cane for its original Cheerios. Whole grain oats, the chief ingredient in the cereal, are not affected by the change because they are not available in genetically modified varieties, the Minneapolis firm said.
The company maintains that government-approved genetically engineered foods are safe to eat. And it denied that outside pressure motivated the change. The only explanation given by company officials was that they believed the new formulation would be popular.
"We believe consumers will embrace it," General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas said.
GMO Inside, an anti-GMO campaign, was quick to claim victory. Organized by members of Green America, a Washington-based nonprofit advocating environmental sustainability, GMO Inside encouraged thousands of people on Facebook to urge General Mills to make Cheerios free of genetically modified organisms.
"We decided General Mills and Cheerios were a good place to focus our energy because a huge company like that could have a major impact," said Elizabeth O'Connell, director of the campaign.
The effort came on the heels of the failed 2012 ballot initiative in California known as Proposition 37 that called for labeling of many genetically engineered foods. Supporters of GMO labeling were stung again by a similar loss in Washington state in November known as I-522.
But O'Connell said consumers are doing what governments have failed to do by threatening to take their grocery dollars elsewhere.
"This shows consumers that their voice does make a difference," she said. "Collective action makes a difference. The ballot actions added awareness and created frustration. Having a win is a great way to show we do have power against these huge corporations."
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I have to be honest here. While to some this may seem like a victory I only see this as a PR move to get pressure off of themselves. When you consider the minute amount of corn starch and sugar in this cereal to begin with because it is oats which are not genetically modified and the fact that no other brand of Cheerios or General Mills product will have GMOs taken out just what did they do? I am really sick and tired of these corporate token gestures simply meant to brush off those of us who truly do care about what we are eating and know of the studies they fail to mention that do show potential dangers with consuming them longterm.
These companies also announce GMOs are safe which right there tells you they are talking out of their a**es. There is NO way to tell if they are safe in the longterm for human consumption as they have not been on the market long enough to determine that and the fact that their ingestion may well be exacerbating current health problems that are easily masked by claiming plausible deniability. (Diabetes, obesity, gut diseases). There are also other factors regarding Glyphosate and other chemicals sprayed on these GM crops that have been shown in studies to be toxic.
Therefore, I remain unimpressed with their PR and hope that organizations claiming victory with this will not now give them credibility. Take them out of ALL PRODUCTS and perhaps then they will have credibility. I will not be purchasing their "GMO free" Cheerios or any other product they make.