Jan 3 General Mills Inc said it has
stopped using genetically modified ingredients in the popular
breakfast cereal Cheerios as the U.S. branded foods manufacturer
hopes the move will firm up customer loyalty in the face of
growing opposition to such additives.
Many activists and critics have cited studies showing that
genetically modified (GM) crops are not safe for people and
animals who consume them.
Some activist groups opposing GM food also say the crops
create environmental problems by encouraging more use of certain
agro chemicals, and consumers should have the right to know what
they are buying.
However, General Mills, which also makes Betty Crocker
dessert mixes and Yoplait yoghurt, said in a company blog post
on Thursday that its decision on ingredients was not driven by
safety concerns or pressure from critics. ()
"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," the General Mills blog said.
The Minneapolis-based company said it has begun using non-GM
cornstarch and non-GM sugar in Cheerios, adding that oats, the
primary ingredient, is a crop that is not grown from genetically
The company hopes that "consumers may embrace" its decision
to move away from GM ingredients.
In November, a Washington state ballot measure that would
have required labeling of foods containing GM crops did not win
A consortium including General Mills, Nestle USA,
PepsiCo, Monsanto,, DuPont and other
corporate giants, were key contributors to the roughly $22
million raised to campaign against the bill.