After pressure from consumers and activists, General Mills announced a change of sourcing of its ingredients for original Cheerios cereal. According to the news, this means removal of GMO corn and GMO sugar from original Cheerios. Supposedly the whole oat ingredient was never genetically modified.
GMOs are genetically modified organisms which means the plant or animal’s cells have been inserted with a gene from an unrelated species in order to create specific characteristics. This is usually done to increase resistance to pests or improve taste and nutrition. GMOs have been in our food supply for the past 20 years. There are health and environmental concerns. For example pest resistant weeds have emerged and require more chemical spraying. In addition, GMOs may be linked to allergies and toxins.
Our government does not regulate these foods any differently than other foods. Not so in the European Union! The EU has one of the strictest systems in the world to regulate GMOs. Extensive testing, labeling, traceability and monitoring are required. Recently, due to the bottomless pockets of large US chemical companies, there is a trickling in of these foods into some European and other countries. Italy and Switzerland have a ban on cultivation of all GMO crops. France and other EU members have banned cultivation in many of their territories. It’s up to each country to regulate cultivation, production and importation. The bottom line, is that the population of Europe rejects GMOs and the people cannot be forced to eat these “frankenfoods!”
Good news for us in the US — if you buy organic foods, you’re safe. It’s the only way to know that you’re NOT consuming GMOs. (More good news — the US organic food market expects to see a 14% growth between now and 2018. ) There are some local municipalities that have moratoriums on GMOs, but no federal regulations yet.
Thank you General Mills for safeguarding original Cheerios, but what about Honey Nut Cheerios? Are they chopped liver?