The GMO Inside campaign announced that thousands of concerned consumers have flooded Cheerios' Facebook page distressed about genetically engineered ingredients in Cheerios and outraged at General Mills contributing over $1.1 million to "No on 37" in California, the narrowly defeated ballot initiative that would have required the labeling of foods with genetically engineered ingredients. Since Nov. 29, the GMO Inside Campaign has been encouraging visitors to its Facebook page to post comment on Cheerios' Facebook page regarding GMOs. The outpouring of comments demonstrates that the drive to label GMOs that led millions of people to support Prop. 37 in California is growing throughout the U.S.
Visitors to Cheerios' Facebook page also used a Cheerios app that allowed users to provide comments on what Cheerios means to them (and which then posted the comments in Cheerios' trademark font) to call out genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Cheerios. In response, General Mills removed the app from its Facebook page.
"The sheer volume of comments on Cheerios' Facebook page raising concerns around genetically engineered ingredients is incredibly inspiring," stated Alisa Gravitz, CEO and president of Green America. "It is also amazing to see the creativity that visitors to Cheerios' Facebook page use to call out Cheerios on using their customers as a science experiment for GMO consumption. Cheerios is a cereal that is frequently fed to children, and many of the comments are from concerned parents who are worried about the fact that they have been feeding a cereal with genetically engineered ingredients to their children."
Visitors to the Cheerios Facebook page used the now-discontinued app to post comments such as "Caution GMOs," "Cheerigmos," and "We are not lab rats." While General Mills has removed the app and the posts generated by it from their Facebook page, examples are preserved at the Cheeseslave website and the Happy Place website.
General Mills has left thousands of comments critical of Cheerios and GMOs on its Facebook page. Many comments are from parents who are concerned about the fact that they have been feeding Cheerios to their children ("So sorry that the food my kids loved as toddlers is one I can't support anymore. I can't believe that General Mills has the well-being of its customers in mind when it contributes to movement against labeling of GMOs.") However, General Mills has not posted to the Cheerios' Facebook page in over a week (from 11/29 - 12/5), deviating from its norm of posting every two days.
"It appears that General Mills is trying to make sure its fans do not come to the Cheerios Facebook page and see an outpouring of concern about the product," said Todd Larsen, Green America Corporate Responsibility Programs Director. "At GMO Inside's Facebook page, people can see which ingredients in Cheerios and other products are likely to be genetically modified. Cheerios needs to label or remove the GMO ingredients. Consumers have a right to know."