There’s big news to share. There’s no more GMOs in Cheerios. On a new page launched over the holiday, General Mills announced that they no longer use genetically modified ingredients in original Cheerios.
“It’s the unique and simple nature of original Cheerios that made this possible – and even that required significant investment over nearly a year. Cheerios’ principal ingredient has always been whole grain oats, and there are no GMO oats. We use just a small amount of corn starch in cooking, and just one gram of sugar per serving for taste. So we were able to change how we source and handle ingredients to ensure that the corn starch for original Cheerios comes only from non-GMO corn, and our sugar is only non-GMO pure cane sugar. ”
It’s no coincidence that General Mills began investing in non-GMO Cheerios when it did.
When GMO Inside began in November 2012, we chose General Mills as our first target for using genetically modified ingredients in Cheerios. It all started when General Mills launched a customer feedback Facebook app, only to be flooded with comments from GMO Insiders, causing the whole project to shut down.
Throughout the year, GMO Insiders continued to ramp up consumer pressure on the beloved Cheerios brand, signing over 37,000 petitions to General Mills’ CEO Ken Powell. Green America Executive Director Larry Giammo and Campaigns Director Liz O’Connell went the extra mile to deliver petitions to General Mills executives face-to-face. Liz went on to attend the General Mills stakeholder meeting at GM headquarters, presenting on behalf of consumers to explain our concerns.
In October 2013, GMO Inside took to the media and held a virtual press conference to release the GMO Inside report on General Mills’ real corporate social responsibility, garnering 17 media stories. The GMO Inside Cheerios video soon gained over 200,000 views on YouTube. Meanwhile, GMO Insiders continued to take action with the GMO Inside Send Back Attack, mailing “Satisfaction Guaranteed” Cheerios labels to General Mills’ headquarters along with handwritten letters demanding a better product.
And just before the holidays, GMO Insiders calling into General Mills’ phone lines were told to expect a big announcement from the brand, inspiring our team to turn up the heat on Cheerios through the end of the year.
All thanks to you.
But the fight isn’t over. This new development only applies to original Cheerios in the iconic yellow box. Other Cheerios cereals such as Honey Nut and Multi-Grain still contain genetically modified ingredients.
“For our other 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. ”
Non-GMO, yellow box original Cheerios is just one step, but it’s a big one. Stay tuned over the next few days so you can join us in thanking General Mills, and to ask for continued progress with all of their cereals.
Congratulations, GMO Insiders! You made this victory possible.