Greetings, GMO Insiders, and nice to meet you! I am the new food campaigns director here at Green America, leading the GMO Inside campaign. 2014 is starting off great with the consumer victory to get Cheerios to go non-GMO for their original namesake cereal and I’m so happy to join the team. I’m looking forward to forging ahead alongside all of you to claim more victories this year.
For my inaugural blog post, let’s talk about Vitamin E (Tocopherol). Many of you may already know that it is often made from GMO crops, but for others this may be news, so let’s explore it a bit.
Vitamin E is a nutrient that is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and available as a supplement. When added to foods it is predominantly used as a preservative to increase shelf life, by preventing the deterioration of fats. If Vitamin E is not found naturally in a food there are a couple of ways to produce it, including in a laboratory by chemical synthesis or by extracting from plants. The most common plants in the US used for GMO Vitamin E are soy, corn, and cottonseed. The majority of the supply of these crops in the US is GMO.
When we launched our campaign against Cheerios we pointed to the three ingredients we (consumers) wanted them to convert to non-GMO: sugar, cornstarch, and Vitamin E. In last week’s announcement that the original Cheerios would soon be hitting the shelves without GMOs, they only listed changes in sourcing of sugar and cornstarch. We need General Mills to clarify if their Vitamin E is or is not derived from GMO sources, like soy, corn, or cotton. Any commitment to non-GMO sourcing is incomplete without addressing all possible GMO ingredients.
So will you join us in asking General Mills if the vitamin E they use in Cheerios is non-GMO? Call General Mills at (800) 248–7310 and ask them to clarify. Additionally, take action with us by sending the CEO a note thanking him for removing GMOs from Cheerios and asking General Mills to get third-party verified.