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Sign our petition to General Mills’ CEO
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Watch our new video about the concerns with GMOs in Cheerios
While General Mills promotes the health benefits of Cheerios for their whole grain oats, stating “The whole grain oats in Cheerios Cereal are natural,” it is silent about the fact that many of the other ingredients in Cheerios sold in the U.S., including modified corn starch, sugar, vitamin E, brown sugar syrup, canola, and natural almond flavor, are at high risk for containing GMOs. Many of General Mills’ other cereals and brands also contain GMOs.
While concealing its use of GMOs in the United States and Canada, General Mills offers non-GMO Cheerios to consumers in Europe. Most industrialized countries have required GMO labeling for years. In Europe, General Mills manufactures Cheerios without GMOs, or if it sells Cheerios in Europe that are manufactured in North America, the product is labeled as “likely containing GMOs.”
Adding insult to injury, General Mills has spent $1.1 million to oppose GMO labeling legislation in CA, thus perpetuating consumer deception. In Washington State, General Mills is likely covertly funding the campaign opposing labeling initiative 522 through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). General Mills’ CEO Ken Powell is the vice chair of the GMA, which to date has given $7.2 million to fight I-522. Polls of Americans demonstrate that more than 93 percent support the labeling of GMOs. General Mills has ignored growing consumer concerns about GMOs and failed to even label their products that contain GMOs. Instead, the company defends GMOs as safe and beneficial.
However, the evidence against GMOs is growing. Contrary to the promises of biotech companies, GMOs are actually increasing pesticide use worldwide which has disastrous effects on the health of farmworkers and water, soil, and air quality. In addition, GMO crops are contaminating fields of non-GMO and even organic farms, and farmers who experience this contamination may also be sued for growing patented GMO crops that they never intended to grow. Finally, increasing research is pointing to negative health impacts of consuming GMOs, which have never been thoroughly evaluated for safety.
GMO Inside (which represents over 125,000 consumers and nonprofit groups) is calling on General Mills to be a leader in its industry by being the first major food corporation to announce a phase-out of GM ingredients, starting with Cheerios. This change would create ripple effects up the supply chain that will lead to increasing acres of cropland being converted to less destructive, less risky, and less corporate-dominated non-GMO farming techniques.
No GMOs, Cheerios! Campaign Demands
GMO Inside is calling on General Mills, which claims to be a responsible company making products that nourish lives, to make a fresh start and align its actions with its declared core values. General Mills needs to take proactive steps to address the issue of GMOs in all levels of its operations.
GMO Inside is asking General Mills to be a leader by:
1. Removing GMOs from all General Mills products
a) Starting with Cheerios (by 2015), General Mills will responsibly source its products’ ingredients from sources that are certified non-GMO or organic.
b) General Mills will commit to and publish a timeline with incremental deadlines to shift its entire portfolio to non-GMO sources by 2018 (including all Cheerios varieties, all cereals, and all other food categories.)
2. Testing for and labeling GMOs
During the transition period from its current GMO intensive supply chain to a non-GMO supply chain, General Mills should test its supply chain for GMOs and voluntarily label its GMO ingredients in all products that contain or likely contain GMOs.
3. Ending all opposition to GMO labeling
a) General Mills will commit to spend no money against state and federal GMO labeling initiatives going forward (including any funds channeled through third parties).
b) General Mills will encourage the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to end its opposition to GMO labeling.
c) General Mills will offset its contribution through the GMA to “No on I-522” (Washington State’s ballot initiative for GMO labeling) by contributing the same amount to “Yes on I-522” or in support of a future state labeling initiative.