General Mills drops Genetically Modified Organisms from Cheerios

General Mills drops Genetically Modified Organisms from CheeriosFacing opposition from consumers and activist groups, General Mills says it will stop using genetically modified ingredients to make its flagship Cheerios breakfast cereal.

Mike Siemienas, spokesman for the company said, while the oats used for make Cheerios never contained any genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the company did make changes to its sourcing and now, for example, only uses non-GMO pure cane sugar instead of beet sugar.

On Thursday night the Minneapolis-based company said in a blog post that it has already begun using non-GM cornstarch and non-GM sugar in Cheerios. It also said that oats, the primary ingredient, is a crop that is not grown from genetically modified seeds.

Tom Forsythe, vice president of Global Communications for General Mills, said in the blog post "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." "And it was never about pressure. In fact, this change is not much of a change at all."

According to General Mills, the change only affects original Cheerios, not other varieties like Honey Nut Cheerios.

Activists and critics have argued that studies show that crops containing genetically modified organisms are not safe for people and animals that eat them.