According to General Mills, oats, the main ingredient, are not genetically modified in any case. It’s the corn starch and the sugar that will have to change. In addition, Cheerios is commonly used by parents as an early finger food for babies, since the little O’s soften quickly in a child’s mouth, requiring no real chewing. And parents want to feel that their children’s foods are as safe as possible; genetically engineered foods don’t fit that definition by many people’s reckoning. So General Mills is catering to a particular segment of the market.
Check out some of our previous articles relating to GMO’s:
New Study Links GMOs To Gluten Disorders That Affect 18 Million Americans
Former Canadian Government Genetic Scientist Speaks Out Against GMOs
Geneticist David Suzuki Says Humans “Are Part Of A Massive Experiment”
Last year, Whole Foods became the first national grocery chain to require all of its suppliers to label all products that contain GMO’s by 2018. In the past year, Chipotle announced plans to phase out GMO’s and Kashi is also is taking action to phase out GMO’s.
This kind of move could mean big things for the future of the GMO debate considering General Mills is one of the first major companies to make this sort of change.
“This is a big deal,” says Todd Larsen, corporate responsibility director at Green America, a green economy activist group. “Cheerios is an iconic brand and one of the leading breakfast cereals in the U.S.” What’s more, he adds, “we don’t know of any other example of such a major brand of packaged food, eaten by so many Americans, going from being GMO to non-GMO.”
One year ago, the group used social media efforts to rally consumers to pressure General Mills to make Cheerios without GMO’s. Cheerios was picked, in part, because it’s one of the first foods given to many toddlers.
Unfortunately however, General Mills has no plans to phase out GMO’s from its other cereals in the U.S., even though most Cheerios varieties sold in Europe are made without GMO’s. “For our other (non-organic) cereals, the widespread use of GM seed in crops such as corn, soy, or beet sugar would make reliably moving to non-GM ingredients difficult, if not impossible,” says the company, in a statement.
With the anti-GMO movement continuing to spread through various mediums such as the March Against Monsanto, hopefully this is only the first of many GMO-free achievements to be seen in the coming era of nutrition liberation.