January 3, 2014

Under Pressure, General Mills Says Cheerios Will be Non-GMO

Filed under: Food and Farms — Tags: , — Russ @ 3:08 am


General Mills has announced that its “classic” Cheerios cereal will now be non-GMO. This is the culmination of a campaign organized by GMOInside which began in November 2012.
It’s more evidence of how manufacturers like General Mills are fairly low on the totem pole and are vulnerable to consumer and citizen pressure. They brought this upon themselves by giving all that money to defeat Right to Know in California (and they didn’t learn a lesson, spending more to defeat labeling in Washington). That’s part of the reason the campaign singled them out. Another is that Cheerios are often the first solid food fed to babies, who are most vulnerable to the potential health dangers of GMOs. Another was that General Mills chose a bad moment to put an interactive Cheerios app online. Campaigners gleefully used the app to spell out slogans like “Deception” (using a Cheerio to dot the “i”), “Poison”, and “CheeriGMOs”. The campaign skillfully and effectively used social media throughout.
A typical feature of the conflict was publicity of the fact that Cheerios sold in Europe contain no GMOs (true of almost all processed food there, since it has to be labeled if it contains GMOs). This proves that the product can be profitably formulated that way. This is true of innumerable other products which allegedly “have to” contain GMOs in their US formulation. Another feature was the way General Mills’ announcement made a virtue of necessity and touted the change as proof of the improving quality of their product, much like the way Monsanto itself professes to love labeling in Europe.
The improved product quality is indeed true, and this move will probably help the company.
It’s true that Cheerios, with oats as their primary ingredient and using modest amounts of corn starch and sugar, were easier to reformulate than a corn- or soy-based product would be. But as we’ve seen with the saga of British supermarket sourcing, non-GM soy is available for anyone who wants it. French retailer Carrefour and retailers in Germany and Austria confirm this. The same could be true for corn.
The only reason manufacturers use GMO products is that it’s the current path of least resistance. It doesn’t help their bottom line, which is increasingly squeezed by the GMO cartel and the processors. But if they and retailers had the will to serve the public and cooperate to build up non-GM sources, this could be done to the benefit of all but Monsanto.
It’s amazing how many groups and sectors are willing to carry Monsanto’s water to their own detriment. If they would all refuse, that would break the GMO tyranny. GMOs do no one on earth any good. They benefit only a handful of corporate gangsters. For the rest of us they’re a pure loss, and an ongoing morass of destruction. Everyone on earth, all people and economic interests, will be much better off the day humanity abolishes GMOs once and for all.
Next up for GMOInside: Make Dean Foods buy from suppliers who use only non-GM feed. Here too, the feed supply can be grown if there’s a reliable constituency to buy it. If everyone who claimed to wish that an affordable product existed would seek out that product, it would exist.



1 Comment

  1. A step in the right direction, for sure.

    Comment by DualPersonality — January 4, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

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