GMO Inside Blog

We are NOT satisfied: Cheerios Send Back Attack

GMO Insiders,

Last week, General Mills was implicated in an industry-led scheme to pursue a federal law that would make it illegal for any state to require mandatory labeling of GMOs.

With this recent development, we’re ready to take it up a notch and show the food industry that we’re not backing down.

Today, we’re launching a brand new action: The Great Cheerios Send Back Attack of 2013.

For the next week, we are calling on all of our fellow activists to pull Cheerios from their pantry shelves and send back the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” label to General Mills’ headquarters, along with a short handwritten letter expressing your concern about GMOs in our food.

Big food corporations, General Mills included, are trying to stop state labeling efforts for good. We need to show General Mills that we are serious about our commitment to a just and equitable food system, and that their attempts to block consumer rights are not part of that future.

You’ve signed the petition, you’ve watched our YouTube video, you’ve shared our website with your friends. Now, it’s time to step it up.

Please join us and take part in the Cheerios Send Back Attack this week. Click here to watch our short instructional video on how it’s done. Hot tip: Get creative! Let your kids sign the handwritten letter, and maybe even add a coloring or two!

Don’t eat Cheerios? Help raise awareness among your Cheerios-eating friends and family on the issues surrounding GMOs – and then take action with them.

Lastly, we are encouraging all Send Back participants to submit photos and videos of you, your friends and your family taking action. Whether it’s you coloring with your kids, cutting out the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” label, or dropping the envelope in your mailbox, we’d love to see your beautiful faces! Please submit all photos and videos to Michelle at mkim@greenamerica.org by November 24, 2013.

See below for the Cheerios Send Back Attack “recipe”, and click here to watch our instructional video.

 

Supplies: 

1 box Cheerios, or however many you have on hand

Kid-safe scissors

Notepaper

A mailing envelope

Postage

A pen or marker

Crayons (optional)

Instructions (all kid-friendly):

1) Break down your Cheerios box. Separate the ends and flatten.

2) Cut out the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” label. Look for the blue General Mills logo.

3) Write a note to General Mills’ CEO Ken Powell. Template below:

“Dear Mr. Powell,

I am concerned about the prevalence of GMOs in your products, especially Cheerios. I’m surprised, because I thought Cheerios were supposed to be healthy and natural. I do not want my family to eat GMO foods, so I’m asking for a refund of my money. I will not buy Cheerios again until they are GMO free.

[Add a personal message and/or let your kids color in their personal message!]

Sincerely, 

Your name”

4) Address your mailing envelope to:

General Mills

P.O. Box 9452

Minneapolis, MN

55440

5) Stuff and stamp your Send Back envelope.

6) Use your own personal mailbox or find your nearest mail drop slot to send your envelope!

7) Submit your photos and videos of your Send Back attack to Michelle at mkim@greenamerica.org.

8) Share the Send Back Attack action and video with 10 friends.

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22 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Leah
    November 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Hello, Thanks for all your hard work. I will do the above and share with friends and family, but I am going to opt out of the pictures or video, if that’s ok. I just wanted you to know that I am going to write them. Thanks again!!!

    • Michelle Kim
      November 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Leah, thank you for your feedback! It is greatly appreciated. We fully understand that not everyone may be comfortable or willing to submit a photo or video. We are just glad to know that you are taking action! Thank you for your work!

  2. Sonia Sullivan
    November 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Does Monsanto eat these GMO foods?

  3. Julie Sheehan
    November 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    This is great! If I had a box in my pantry I’d absolutely participate. Is there a FB share for this campaign as I’d love to get the word out.

    • Michelle Kim
      November 14, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Thanks for your support, Julie! We have just posted our Cheerios Send Back action on Facebook. Go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GMOInside) and share away!

      • Julie Sheehan
        November 14, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

        Done! :)

      • Julie Sheehan
        November 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        Below is an email response I received from General Mills. Essentially they claim to support labeling at the federal level and yet I remain skeptical…

        Thank you for your email.

        We know consumers care about the foods they eat – and we care about the foods we provide. Please allow me to respond on behalf of General Mills.

        Your email asks a number of questions, many of which are addressed in our discussion “On GMOs” on GeneralMills.com.

        You also ask about non-GMO and/or organic certified products. General Mills actually offers organic product choices and options – which by definition cannot use GM ingredients – in virtually all our major product categories in the U.S. We also offer an organic oat-based cereal very much like Cheerios that is sold across the United States.

        Unfortunately, there is no national standard for labeling non-GMO products in the United States. That only makes it more difficult for companies that may wish to produce non-GM products. A labeling standard does exist in Europe, helping enable companies to reliably produce and market products that can be labeled as non-GMO.

        We believe a national standard for labeling non-GMO products would also benefit American consumers. We discuss that issue here, in our discussion of state-based labeling – also on GeneralMills.com.

        You also ask us not to oppose state-based labeling laws. But we believe differing labeling requirements that would vary by state would result in a patchwork of different labels in different states that would increase the cost of products for companies and consumers alike.

        We have long held that food labeling regulations should be set at the national level, not state-by-state – and most companies hold the same view. National guidelines for labeling non-GMO products would be substantially more reliable for consumers than differing state standards, and we think a national approach would make decidedly more sense than a patchwork of different labels that would vary from state-to-state.

        Thank you again for your email, and for allowing us this opportunity to respond.

        Sincerely,

        General Mills Consumer Services

        • Kyle
          November 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

          Yeah, I got the same thing. Super duper skeptical on that support….

        • marion wilson
          November 18, 2013 at 11:47 am #

          The response makes sense. It should be national, vs. state by state, especially on food products. It would be costly during production to change labels, per state, and it should matter to everyone what is in their food. any time a cost is added the price goes up for anyone purchasing. It maybe minimal, but really, the price of everything increased when gas prices went up. was one of the latest noticeable increases in prices. There should be labels on all foods, for anything added to any food in the U.S. PLEASE LABEL THE FOODS PROPERLY. THANK YOU.

    • Jeane Green
      November 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      No, of course not ! Neither does Obama – remember Michelle made an ORGANIC garden first thing after they moved into the White House.

      Why organic when the commercial and GMO food is “just equal” in every way according to the USDA and FDA ?

  4. Leah
    November 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Sorry to post again, but I have a question. I have 5 boxes of these and was wondering if I could send them ALL in at once? We stopped eating Cheerios 9 months ago.

    • Michelle Kim
      November 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks for your question, Leah! You can absolutely send them all in at the same time – what a strong statement of support for getting GMOs out of Cheerios!

  5. Eugene Antunes
    November 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Down with Monsanto! Down with GMO’s!! What’s taking so long to get our food items labeled?!!

  6. Julie Sheehan
    November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Below is an email response I received from General Mills. Essentially they claim to support labeling at the federal level and yet I remain skeptical…

    Thank you for your email.

    We know consumers care about the foods they eat – and we care about the foods we provide. Please allow me to respond on behalf of General Mills.

    Your email asks a number of questions, many of which are addressed in our discussion “On GMOs” on GeneralMills.com.

    You also ask about non-GMO and/or organic certified products. General Mills actually offers organic product choices and options – which by definition cannot use GM ingredients – in virtually all our major product categories in the U.S. We also offer an organic oat-based cereal very much like Cheerios that is sold across the United States.

    Unfortunately, there is no national standard for labeling non-GMO products in the United States. That only makes it more difficult for companies that may wish to produce non-GM products. A labeling standard does exist in Europe, helping enable companies to reliably produce and market products that can be labeled as non-GMO.

    We believe a national standard for labeling non-GMO products would also benefit American consumers. We discuss that issue here, in our discussion of state-based labeling – also on GeneralMills.com.

    You also ask us not to oppose state-based labeling laws. But we believe differing labeling requirements that would vary by state would result in a patchwork of different labels in different states that would increase the cost of products for companies and consumers alike.

    We have long held that food labeling regulations should be set at the national level, not state-by-state – and most companies hold the same view. National guidelines for labeling non-GMO products would be substantially more reliable for consumers than differing state standards, and we think a national approach would make decidedly more sense than a patchwork of different labels that would vary from state-to-state.

    Thank you again for your email, and for allowing us this opportunity to respond.

    Sincerely,

    General Mills Consumer Services

  7. Robin
    November 15, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    I am glad to participate in this campaign. Letter will be going in the mailbox first thing tomorrow. I had one box of cheerios left in our house. Needless to say the label is being sent back and the box has landed in the TRASH! I have learned so much over the past few months about GMO’s. Feel very fortunate for organizations like this which are helping to enable more people to become aware of the hazards of eating GMO foods.
    Just curious:
    How do you all feel about purchasing some of their non gmo foods such as Lara Bara?
    Thanks!

  8. Tiffany
    November 16, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    That sounds like a great idea but I no longer buy Cheerios / General Mills cereal. I do not want to buy / support a product I do not believe in. Is there another way to do this without having to buy the product? Petition? I feel that buying just one box is supporting them.

    • Michelle Kim
      November 25, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks for your question, Tiffany! I’m glad to hear you’re ahead of the game and no longer buying products that you do not support. As suggested in our post, we are encouraging all of our supporters who are ahead of the game to take this opportunity to spread awareness among your friends and family who might still be eating Cheerios! Get the information out to a friend or family member, and take action with them!

  9. Lynne Eberitzsch
    November 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    I just wrote my letter and have 3 labels I am including!!! Hopefully if enough of us do this they will get the message!! Sorry I’m not doing a picture either!!

  10. Cheryle Addis
    November 17, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I actually got a response from GM last email I sent telling me how they are all for GMO labeling on a federal level. Frankly, I believe they would fight that as strenuously. I DON’T have GM products in my kitchen anymore. I am doing the best I can to keep my family GMO free. I would really like to take more action but don’tquite know where to start.

  11. Name (required)
    November 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    My little 4 year old granddaughter loves Cheerios. I will encourage her parents to ween her away from the product and keep her younger sister from using it. Cheerios, what a shame! But I guess it’s greed uber alles!

  12. Niki Minerva
    November 24, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    I phoned. I told them I love the product but that the box in my hand was the last one I was going to purchase until the box reads GMO free. The representative was very helpful and appreciated the call and said he would definitely deliver the message to the appropriate party.

  13. Jody De Souza
    January 5, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Dated January 2, 2014
    Is this true?

    General Mills Inc. GIS -0.28% has started producing Cheerios free of genetically modified content, making the 73-year-old breakfast cereal one of the highest-profile brands to change in the face of growing complaints over such ingredients from activist groups and some consumers.

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