General Mills says cheerio to GM ingredients in Cheerios

General Mills (GIS) has stopped using genetically modified ingredients in Cheerios, saying that it would label the packaging of the breakfast cereal accordingly.

It's a rare move from General Mills, as food companies have been wary of GM labeling because they fear it would cause consumers to think that such foods are dangerous.

Indeed, General Mills went out of its way to say that the Cheerios change had nothing to do with safety or pressure from anti-GM activists. Tellingly, though, the company said that the alteration was due to demand from customers - who presumably are concerned about safety.

The question now is whether other food companies will follow suit and what the long-term effect on GM companies such as Monsanto (MON) might be.

General Mills blog post.

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Comments (6)
  • Dean Scarpinato
    , contributor
    Comments (367) | Send Message
    Perhaps I will start eating Cheerios again. Every word thought and deed has unseen consequences which directly affect the actor. Every penny you make on Monsanto will cause you anguish. I would no sooner invest in this company than sell my soul to Satan.
    3 Jan 2014, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • jacobtr
    , contributor
    Comments (760) | Send Message
    Every penny I've made on MON so far (and there are a lot) has caused me great joy. I love both making money and helping humanity at the same time.


    Have you considered shorting MON? If making money on the company would cause you anguish, losing money on it might be enjoyable.
    3 Jan 2014, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • jacobtr
    , contributor
    Comments (760) | Send Message
    A few relevant points:
    • Most of the corn grown in the US is used for animal feed (~50%) and ethanol (~30%). Exports are the next biggest demand line. Corn is also used for other industrial uses. I estimate the % going directly into food for human consumption is ~5%.
    • Cheerios is very popular with children as young as one year old (or younger) so people are extra-sensitive about what’s in it
    • The main ingredient in Cheerios is oats, which are not genetically modified, so removing GM ingredients was probably a small tweak meant to pacify a consumer niche and avoid this becoming an issue
    • GIS is not converting the rest of its cereals to non-GM.
    • The risk here is that the move calls attention to the fact that the rest of the cereals may have GM ingredients, and that a major food company removed them from a major product, which could be construed (incorrectly) as implying a health risk to GM food.
    3 Jan 2014, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • PeteCal
    , contributor
    Comments (90) | Send Message
    Let's see.
    GM, which is essentially evolution speeded up, provides more food per acre using less water, fertilizer, herbicides, and insecticides.


    What's not to like?
    3 Jan 2014, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • vermont60
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Frankly, I didn't know that oats had been genetically modified. The attention has been so much
    on corn and soybeans. Now I learn that it is the cornstarch that is in the cereal, not the oats
    3 Jan 2014, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • Tom Graber
    , contributor
    Comments (109) | Send Message
    With population growth, and all manner of growing challenges ie aridity, insect, plant disease, short growing seasons, etc. Plant genetics can help mitigate these things.
    I salute Monsanto and wish you every success in addressing food and fiber needs of mankind.
    5 Jan 2014, 10:39 PM Reply Like
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