Just when we thought we could rejoice over major cereal manufacturers’ reformulating big cereal brands without GMOs, a review of ingredients in non-GMO Cheerios and Grape-Nuts reveals that they contain far fewer vitamins.
According to an article in Food Navigator-USA, the new non-GMO formulations of Original Cheerios and Grape Nuts might be made without ingredients from genetically engineered crops, but they also come with fewer vitamins – although brand owners General Mills and Post Foods won’t say why. The article notes that Grape-Nuts no longer contains 4 key vitamins: Vitamins A, D, B and B12 (riboflavin). New Original Cheerios removed almost all the B12 (riboflavin); the old formula contained 28% of daily value with the new formula containing only 2%.
On the blog BIOtech NOW, the Food Navigator article quotes Dr. Wayne Parrott, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia, who asserts that the new Cheerios and Grape-Nuts non-GMO formulations are less nutritious:
“Cheerios went from being a major source of Vitamin B2 to being almost zip. This was particularly ironic given that a large percentage of people who say they are avoiding GMOs claim to do so for health reasons.”
According to BIOTech Now, General Mills told FoodNavigator-USA that they “made no assertion that non-GM ingredients were ‘more wholesome.’ That is simply mistaken.”
So, why not source non-GMO vitamins? According to Bethany Davis, R&D/Regulatory Project Lead at dietary supplement firm Mega Food, “it has proven to be difficult to ensure that all of the starting materials and additives” in certain vitamins are non-GMO.
So, is non-GMO cereal healthwash or real progress? I guess its complicated.
Cereal Bowl Photo: Shutterstock.com; Cheerios before and after photo: Goodbye GMOs (and vitamin B12, D, A, and Riboflavin): New non-GMO Grape Nuts and Original Cheerios are ‘certainly less nutritious’, claims professor