NEW YORK - General Mills says some Cheerios made without
genetically modified ingredients will start appearing on shelves soon.
The Minneapolis-based company said Thursday that it has been
manufacturing its original-flavor Cheerios without GMOs for the past several
weeks in response to consumer demand. It did not specify exactly when those
boxes would be on sale.
Original Cheerios will now be labeled as "Not Made With
Genetically Modified Ingredients," although that it is not an official
certification. The labels will also note that trace amounts of GMO ingredients
could be present due to the manufacturing process, said Mike Siemienas, a
SEE ALSO: GMOs- what you need to know
The change does not apply to any other Cheerios flavors,
such as Apple Cinnamon Cheerios or Multi Grain Cheerios.
"We were able to do this with original Cheerios because
the main ingredients are oats," said Siemienas, noting that there are no
genetically modified oats. The company is primarily switching the cornstarch
and sugar to make the original Cheerios free of GMOs, he said.
The change comes after the group Green America started a
campaign called GMO Inside asking General Mills to make Cheerios GMO-free. The
group noted in a statement that its campaign prompted fans to flood the
Cheerios page on Facebook with comments on the topic.
Todd Larsen, Green America's corporate responsibility
director, said in a statement that the move is "an important victory in
getting GMOs out of our food supply and an important first step for General
As for other varieties of Cheerios, Siemienas said they are
harder to make GMO-free because they are made with ingredients such as corn.
There has been little scientific evidence showing that foods
grown from engineered ingredients are less safe than their conventional
counterparts. But consumers have expressed concerns about the long-term impact
they could have.
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