Cheerios To Become GMO Free

gmo free

Cheerios, the most popular cereal in America, is going to become the first major food brand to become GMO free.

According to ABC News, General Mills the makers of Cheerios announced that they are changing the sourcing on original-flavor Cheerios so that it will soon be made without genetically modified ingredients. This is a huge move. Cheerios, the most popular cereal in the U.S. and General Mills’ top-selling brand since 1951, is going GMO-Free. Although other cereal brands such as natural foods leader Barbara’s Bakery have vowed to GMO-free this may be the first time a market leading food manufacturer has voluntarily made the move.

[General Mills] said … that it has been manufacturing its original-flavor Cheerios without GMOs for the past several weeks in response to consumer demand. It did not specify exactly when those boxes would be on sale.

In a move toward self-regulation, Original Cheerios will now be labeled as “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.” This is an interesting marketing claim since this is not an official certification like the Non-GMO Project label. According to said Mike Siemienas, a company spokesman, the General Mills created label will still “note that trace amounts of GMO ingredients could be present due to contamination during the manufacturing process.”

Siemienas noted that General Mills was able to make the switch because of two simple reasons: Oats are not made from GMO seeds and oats are the main ingredient on original Cheerios. General Mills did have to switch the cornstarch and sugar to make the original Cheerios GMO free. Siemienas said other flavors of Cherrios are harder to make GMO-free because they are made with ingredients such as corn and so the change does not apply to any other Cheerios flavors, such as Apple Cinnamon Cheerios or Multi Grain Cheerios.

The change comes after the group Green America started a campaign called GMO Inside asking General Mills to make Cheerios GMO-free. The group noted in a statement that its campaign prompted fans to flood the Cheerios page on Facebook with comments on the topic.

Todd Larsen, Green America’s corporate responsibility director said in a statement that the move is:

“… an important victory in getting GMOs out of our food supply and an important first step for General Mills.”

Written by Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer Kaplan writes about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for Insteading (and before the two sites merged) and is the author of Greening Your Small Business. She is an Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone and was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster, an MFA and an MBA – follow her on Twitter.


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