THE BEE IN MY BONNET
After months of consumer pressure, in January 2014 General Mills announced it would remove GMO ingredients from original Cheerios. Green America’s campaign GMO Inside, with the help of over 200,000 consumers, are continuing to ask the company to continue with Honey Nut Cheerios and its other products. We have also called on General Mills to step up its commitment to sustainability by addressing the heavy use of pesticides in our food supply. We have been asking General Mills to put a call out to its suppliers to phase out toxic chemicals use to produce ingredients for Honey Nut Cheerios and other products, including neonicotinoids, which are a family of insecticides that have been shown to harm bee and other pollinator populations. We have sent General Mills multiple letters addressing pesticides. All of the responses we have received from the company have ignored this issue, yet the company recognizes the problem. Then, recently I came a blog post on General Mills’ website highlighting Cascadian Farm’s “hard work” to “protect the bees.” You may know, Cascadian Farm is a brand of Small Planet Foods, owned by General Mills. Cascadian Farm is “leveraging” their “bee-friendly good deeds” by partnering with Whole Foods on an exclusive product, Buzz Crunch Honey Almond cereal. With each sale, Cascadian Farm will donate $1 to “help save the bees.”
GENERAL MILLS CARES ABOUT BEES WITH ONLY 3% OF SALES
First of all, since General Mills owns Cascadian Farm, that means it recognizes there is a problem with the bee population, and acknowledges how the company can contribute to helping protect them: removing the harmful pesticides. Yet, they are only doing so through a small brand in an exclusive partnership with Whole Foods. This should be a company-wide policy and implemented for all of General Mills products and at all grocery outlets. Why should this only be available for those who can afford to shop at Whole Foods? Additionally, Small Planet Foods makes up only 3% of General Mills’ sales. Therefore, less than 3% of GM’s sales are working toward “saving the bees” while 97% are killing them.
TO GENERAL MILLS
Step up to the plate and implement a strategy to “save the bees” for the other 97% of your products where you are falling short. Your company cannot afford to continue to ignore your customers when we ask you to address these toxic chemicals used to grow the ingredients in your products…AND NEITHER CAN THE BEES!