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Cheerios To Go GMO-Free 419

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "ABC News reports that General Mills has ended the use of genetically modified ingredients in Cheerios, its flagship breakfast food. General Mills has been manufacturing its original-flavor Cheerios without GMOs for the past several weeks in response to consumer demand. Original Cheerios will now be labeled as 'Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients,' although that it is not an official certification. 'We were able to do this with original Cheerios because the main ingredients are oats,' says Mike 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. Green America has been targeting Cheerios for the past year to raise the profile of the anti-GMO movement. 'This is a big deal,' says Green America's Todd Larsen. 'Cheerios is an iconic brand and one of the leading breakfast cereals in the U.S. We don't know of any other example of such a major brand of packaged food, eaten by so many Americans, going from being GMO to non-GMO.' For its part, General Mills says, It's not about safety,' and will continue to use GMOs in other food products."
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Cheerios To Go GMO-Free

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  • by ApplePy ( 2703131 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @06:59PM (#45861421)

    How much of our planet's fossil fuel resources should we continue to mine for large-scale agriculture, before we have the conversation about why there are so many starving third-worlders, and what we might do to control overpopulation?

    I see this assertion time after time -- that we must feed 8, 10, 15 billions of people -- without asking the question, "Does the planet need that many people?"

    GMO is a non-solution to a problem that we could much more easily prevent.

    The only winner in GMO is the patent holder who collects the royalties.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @06:59PM (#45861423) Homepage

    Quite right.

    This is about politics rather than science. The corporate shills want to make this strictly about food safety in order to distract from the abuses of companies like Monsanto.

    Any regime that doesn't allow for a farmer to save and replant his own seeds needs to be torn down, burned, and then bombed.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @07:01PM (#45861463) Homepage Journal

    We know this. GMO-free is a marketing term for affluent pananoid yuppies. It is not something that will ever feed mass numbers of needy people.

    No, it's about being open and honest about what goes into your food. We in California had such a staggering amount of BS inserted into a campaign season, regarding GMO product labeling, that consumers were completely baffled what the impact was going to be and voted with the most convincing and well backed ads. Therefore we do not have a state statute requiring the labeling of food as containing all or part GMO components.

    That was pretty damn insidious by Pro-GMO Big Ag.

  • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @07:11PM (#45861557)

    For me its a result of Monsanto patenting food staples and suing world + dog. I don't agree with a few multinationals owning patents of the world's food staples so I will do everything I can to avoid GMO products for this reason and this reason only. And I will continue to warn everyone I know against purchasing GMO products until they are no longer patented and the companies stop abusing the patents. THe End.

    Ok, this is the first argument I've heard against GMO that I can support. And with that, I just joined the anti-GMO boat...

  • by zerobeat ( 628744 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @07:48PM (#45861861) Homepage
    So, GMO is scary, but the fact that Cheerios barely resemble the produce they are derived from, no problem. All that processing couldn't possibly "change" the food in a bad way. The consumer is an idiot.
  • by Jherek Carnelian ( 831679 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @08:07PM (#45862009)

    I'm seriously sick of this ignorant crap. There is absolutely no known possible mechanism for GM foods to cause cancer because they're GM.

    That's kind of like all the anti-drug people who say that there is no scientific proof that marijuana has any medicinal value. It was absolutely true. But the reason it is true is because you needed the DEA to give you a permit [] to work with banned drugs and they only like to give out permits projects researching adverse effects, not beneficial effects.

    Same thing with GMO's -- the testing coverage of GMOs is very weak. There is this get out jail free card they use to legally avoid testing called substantial equivalence [] - the theory is that if you are just mixing genes from two different kinds of food, then its all good. They do very limited testing to make sure there is nothing obviously wrong (like the potatoes genes haven't turned the new GMO crop into belladonna) but the basic testing is all that's ever done if they can claim equivalence. Of course they do this because comprehensive testing would be really, really, really expensive. So, you know, let the customers beta test it.

    So yeah, there is no known mechanism because no one is looking for one.

  • Sense of scale (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @02:21AM (#45863755) Homepage Journal

    You have to keep sense of scale in mind here. Consider that in the year 1000 there was an estimated 310M humans on the whole planet. The USA alone exceeds that today. It only hit 3B in the '60s, and is up to 7B today.

    As such, in order to gain credit for 1B people, GMO only needs to be about a 14% productivity boost over all the other methods you mention in order to be able to be credited with 'saving' 1B from starvation. If you consider that starvation need not be fatal, the necessary boost to simply keep people from 'experiencing starvation'*, due to uneven productivity and such is much less.

    *Say, a period of 30 days or more without sufficient nutrution = 'experiencing starvation'.

  • by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @06:47AM (#45864247)

    Selecting something is not modifying it. Genetic modification (in today's context) is about producing individual specimens with modified or new genes, not just differently mixed genes of its parents. Trying to muddle this is dishonest.

    Actual genetic modification is going to be the biggest revolution in human history, possibly biggest revolution in the history of life on this planet if we don't destroy our civilization before it becomes as ubiquitous as cell phones are today. Saying it's just extension of what we've been doing for millenia is like saying updating globally accessible Wikipedia article with mobile device on-location and real time is just extension of prehistoric people drawing stuff in sand with a stick. Sure, it is, if you select your viewpoint carefully.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.