Food and Farm interview about Cheerios and GMOs

GMO cheerio150I imagine that by now you’ve heard about the announcement from General Mills that they have removed genetically engineered ingredients from their original Cheerios cereal, while also leaving them in their other Cheerios products. (The sourcing of their sugar and corn starch ingredients is all that has changed.) The discussion in traditional and social media has both argued that this is a huge deal, or not a big deal, depending on who you ask. While making the switch, General Mills also affirmed the safety of GMOs, even buying google ad space to make this information easy to find.
The Food and Farm Show is a web radio and podcast, and host Ray Bowman posted an interview with me today where we try to make some sense of the news and the various contradictions that seem to come up. Is this a bellwether of products switching away from GMOs, or companies defending their use of them? Does it demonstrate the need for mandatory GMO labels or demonstrate the market meeting that need on its own? Ray and I try to make some sense of the news, and maybe talk a little about the art and imagery people use to discuss genetically engineered foods.

 

Written by Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication.

3 comments

  1. I missed this when I was on the road doing workshops–but I’m glad I caught it now. There are a couple of things related to Cheerios that I wanted to store:
    1. As predicted by anyone in this arena, labels are not going to be good enough for label advocates. They are trying to extort General Mills to pay for their 3rd party verification. https://twitter.com/mem_somerville/status/419658025104728064
    2. I got into a wrestling match with some people who seem to be confused about the goal of the label advocates. If you think labels are the end game, that’s incorrect. https://twitter.com/mem_somerville/status/426464885120045056 The goal is to exterminate GMOs.
    If you {the global “you”} think that giving labelers a label will stop the shouting, you are very, very wrong. I know that’s why some people want to just let the labeling happen and be done with it. But that will just be the beginning of further targeting, extortion, threats, and the shouting will go on. I will be anyone $10 on this.

  2. Careful about promoting that conclusion, Joel. If you parse the wording of the statements of these grocery stores, they state that they have no “intention” or “plans” to sell the fish. This is not a commitment not to sell it, but a statement that they currently aren’t seeking to do so.

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