General Mills announced that it stopped using genetically modified ingredients in Cheerios, its popular breakfast cereal, as the branded foods maker in the U.S. hopes its move will garner customer loyalty as growing opposition continues over the additives.
Many critics and activists have cited numerous studies that show genetically modified (GM) crops are unhealthy for both people and animals that eat them.
Some groups that oppose GM food have also said that the crops have created environmental problems through encouraging more usage of agro chemicals and that consumers should have the right to be informed of what they purchase.
However, the cereal maker, which is also the maker of Betty Crocker and Yoplait yoghurt put in a blog post on the company site, that it had decided to stop using GM ingredients not because of pressure from its critics or safety concerns.
The post said it was not about safety. Biotech seeds, which are also referred to as GM seeds, have been approved by safety agencies globally and are used widely by farmers in food crops around the world for the past 20 years.
The company, based in Minneapolis announced it starting using cornstarch and sugar that was non-GM in its Cheerios, adding that the oat, the cereal’s primary ingredient, is a crop not grown from seeds that are genetically modified.
General Mills hopes that its consumers embrace the decision to move from GM ingredients.
Last November, a state ballot measure in Washington that would made it a requirement to label foods that contain GM crops did not win approval.
A consortium that includes General Mills, PepsiCo, Nestle USA, DuPont, Monsanto and other giants from the corporate world, were contributors to nearly $22 million that was raised to campaign against that measure in Washington.
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