General Mills Succumbs to Anti-Biotech Activist Lies – Removes GMO Ingredients from Cheerios

NoGMOCheeriosGeneral Mills has announced that it will remove
ingredients derived from genetically enhanced crops – corn starch
and sugar – from its regular Cheerios. The new Cheerios boxes will
be labelled as “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.”
The company is doing this despite the fact that it acknowledges
that there is no evidence that current varieties of biotech crops
pose any health or safety risks to people. In fact, the
company’s own crop biotechnology information
website plainly

On safety – our number one priority – we find broad global
consensus among food and safety regulatory bodies that approved GM
ingredients are safe….

Global food safety experts will note there has not been a single
incident of harm to health or safety demonstrably linked to the use
of GMOs anywhere in the world. Numerous studies have found
certain benefits, however.

With regard to the company’s Cheerios announcement,

“It’s not about safety. Biotech seeds, also known as genetically
modified seeds, have been approved by global food safety agencies
and widely used by farmers in global food crops for almost 20
years,” Tom Forsythe, vice president of Global Communications for
General Mills, said in the blog post. “And it was never about
pressure. In fact, this change is not much of a change at all.”

The company hopes that “consumers may embrace” its decision to
move away from GM ingredients.

Never about pressure? Maybe not, but the activist group
Green America
has been orchestrating an online anti-biotech
letter writing campaign against Cheerios for the past year. Green
America’s suggested letter perpetuates these
lies about the safety
of biotech crops:

As a company that purports to be nourishing lives, why do you
include ingredients in your foods that may be harmful to human

As a company that purports to be responsible, why do you include
GMOs that are causing harm to the environment and farmers?

As it happens, another General Mills’ spokesperson was a bit
more forthcoming about succumbing to pressure. From the

Wall Street Journal

“There is broad consensus that food containing GMOs is safe, but
we decided to move forward with this in response to consumer
demand,” said Mike Siemienas, spokesman for General Mills.

General Mills is a private company and obviously has the right
to make decisions within the law that it believes will benefit its
stockholders. It’s just sad that the company has decided not to
defend its customers against activist disinformation and has
instead chosen to mislead consumers about the safety of modern
biotech agriculture.

By the way, a
comprehensive review
of the nearly 2,000 peer-reviewed studies
that have investigated the safety of biotech crops over the past
ten years was published this fall in the journal Critical
Reviews in Biotechnology
. The researchers report:

We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE [genetically
engineered] crop safety for the last 10 years that catches the
scientific consensus matured since GE plants became widely
cultivated worldwide, and we can conclude that the scientific
research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazard
directly connected with the use of GM crops.

For more background, see my article, “The
Top 5 Lies About Biotech Crops

from Hit & Run

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