Cheerio to GM Cheerios could signal tipping point in food industry

kids-eating-breakfastThey ignore our protest marches… and goodness know what they do with our petitions. But letters to the right person can work wonders, it seems. Within weeks of a letter-writing campaign in the US, which was instigated by GMO Inside, General Mills has buckled under people pressure and agreed to wave cheerio to the GMOs in its iconic flagship brand, Cheerios. Next to quickly follow was Post Foods, with its equally popular favourite breakfast cereal, Grape Nuts.

Now many big brands are holding their breath in a kind of game of chicken to see who will swerve first. Could this move by General Mills and Post Foods be the precursor to a tipping point by food producers following the money to drop GMO ingredients from their foods?

We at The Therapy Book have just sent more than 100 letters to major food manufacturers in the UK, asking about whether 4,453 different foods across more than 255 brands, which are sold in supermarkets here, contain GMO ingredients. If the food manufacturers cannot confirm that they use non-GMO ingredients, this will be reflected in how their foods are listed in our soon-to-be-released iPhone app, Shop GMO-Free in the UK.

By using our Shop GMO-Free Phone app here in the UK, you will also be able to hit the food producers that use GMO ingredients where it hurts, right on their bottom line. If you’d like to road trial it for free, email us now at shopgmofree@thetherapybook.com.

Anyway, back in the US,  the big brands are playing a waiting game right now to see whether moves by General Mills and Post Foods to axe GMOs from their iconic brands will have a domino effect across the whole industry.

It just goes to show that at the end of the day, Big Food won’t be moved by health and safety claims, but they will pay attention to whatever impacts on their profits. If there’s money in non-GMO foods, then they will pursue that course.

It was GMO Inside who instigated the original letter-writing campaign to get General Mills to drop GMOs from its Cheerios. General Mills complied within weeks – a huge turnaround. GMO Inside are now pressuring General Mills to drop GMOs from its HoneyNut Cheerios. Here’s the story so far, from GMO Inside:

On January 2, 2014, GMO Inside broke the news that its campaign to pressure General Mills had resulted in the major U.S. food producer to eliminate GMOs from original Cheerios.  In a campaign relying heavily on social media to inform and involve consumers, the company was deluged with over 50,000 online postings to make original Cheerios GMO free.  General Mills’ acknowledgment that it was dropping GMOs from original Cheerios created a firestorm of media attention and made millions more Americans aware of the GMOs that are common in the cereals that start their days.

Now, GMO Inside is urging General Mills to take the next logical step in relation to consumer demand and concerns. Over 6 million people – many of them children — start their day with Honey Nut Cheerios. Honey Nut Cheerios contains a number of the same ingredients that are at-risk for GMOs as regular Cheerios, just with a higher concentration of sugar. Now that General Mills has completed a year-long process to remove GMOs from regular Cheerios, consumers will pressure the company to remove GMOs from their other cereals, starting with Honey Nut Cheerios.  In addition consumers will continue to push General Mills needs to use third party verification to provide consumers with the assurance that its products are genuinely non-GMO.

Recently, Post Foods revealed to its customers that it is removing GMOs from its original Grape Nuts Cereal. Post is going one step further than General Mills by using third party verification to ensure Grape Nuts is non-GMO. Post has also stated to its customers that it is exploring removing GMOs from other products.

“General Mills has the opportunity to build on the important step they took in making regular Cheerios non-GMO by now taking the GMOs out of America’s favorite breakfast cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios,” stated Green America’s GMO Inside Campaign Director Nicole McCann.  “More and more consumers are looking for non-GMO options, especially for the foods that they feed to their children, and those consumers will be letting General Mills know they want the GMOs off their breakfast table.”

“General Mills made the right move in removing GMOs from original Cheerios,” stated Green America President and GMO Inside Co-Chair Alisa Gravitz.  “However, General Mills has sent confusing messages to its customers by saying that it was able to remove GMOs from original Cheerios because of their unique formula, but can’t remove them from other flavors of Cheerios.

“And the company denies that it made the change due to consumer demand, while claiming it listens to its customers. The truth is that General Mills responded correctly to enormous consumer pressure in removing GMOs from original Cheerios. Now consumers will put pressure on General Mills to remove GMOs from their other cereals, starting with Honey Nut Cheerios. And the reality is that the process General Mills put in place to remove GMOs from original Cheerios can be used with other varieties of Cheerios, starting with Honey Nut.”


Shop GMO-Free in the UK app

We’re the first to bring out an app containing the GM status of more than 10,000 foods sold in UK supermarkets, Shop GMO-Free in the UK, which you can download for free here!

get-the-app

Endorsed by Steven Drucker, author of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.

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