Cheerios goes no-GMO

Consumer demand is leading General Mills to make Cheerios GMO free.

Soon, you will be able to buy a box of Cheerios that is GMO-free. General Mills says it will use corn and sugar that have not been genetically modified.

Companies that use genetically-modified ingredients maintain they are safe, and the federal government has no problem with them. But some Americans are wary.

“They can shop for organic products that are GMO-free, but this is an expansion of that GMO-free market,” says Julie Caswell, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

General Mills says it is responding to what consumers want. But Alberto Alemanno, a food policy expert at NYU Law School, says there is a reason why the company picked Cheerios, instead of Chex or Wheaties.

“Cheerios contain oats,” he explains. “Oats is not a GM crop. So, it is pretty clear they have targeted this product because it is going to be easier for them to deliver.”

In the U.S., most packaged foods contain ingredients that are genetically modified. Recently, Whole Foods announced it is going to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt, because the company uses milk that’s not organic. Chobani says there just isn’t enough organic milk available to meet consumer demand.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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