With 40,000 Facebook posts from consumers who took part in GMO Inside's campaign calling on General Mills to make Cheerios non-GMO, General Mills posted its statement on GMOs. The company states: "It's the unique and simple nature of original Cheerios that made this possible—and even that required significant investment over nearly a year," and "we were able to change how we source and handle ingredients to ensure that the corn starch for original Cheerios comes only from non-GMO corn, and our sugar is only non-GMO pure cane sugar."
One year ago, in November 2012, GMO Inside starting calling on consumers to put pressure on General Mills to make Cheerios without GMOs due to concerns over the health and environmental impacts of GMOs. Cheerios are a top selling cereal in the U.S. and often one of the first solid foods fed to children. As soon as the campaign launched, tens of thousands of consumers started flooding Cheerios' Facebook page with concerned comments regarding GMOs in Cheerios, and used an app put out by Cheerios to spell out anti-GMO messages in the Cheerios font.
In October 2013, GMO Inside issued a real corporate responsibility report for General Mills, and called on consumers to email and call the General Mills to get GMOs out of Cheerios. GMO Inside also put out a video highlighting the GMOs in Cheerios that was watched by over 200,000 viewers. More than 25,000 people took part in the email actions and calls to the company. In the past week callers to the company were told that Cheerios would have a big announcement about GMOs soon.
Green America Corporate Responsibility Director Todd Larsen stated: "Removing GMOs from original Cheerios is an important victory in getting GMOs out of our food supply and an important first step for General Mills. Original Cheerios in its famous yellow box will now be non-GMO and this victory sends a message to all food companies that consumers are increasingly looking for non-GMO products and companies need to meet that demand."
John W Roulac, GMO Inside co-founder and co-chair stated: "This is a huge victory for the non-GMO movement. I want to thank all the "GMO Insiders "for using social media to convince America's largest packed food brand to go non-GMO with a major product. History is being made today and more food brands will rush towards non-GMO foods. "
GMO Inside, a campaign of national non-profit organization Green America, welcomed the news that General Mills is now producing original Cheerios without GMOs, and is encouraging consumers to let General Mills know that now is the time to make all Cheerios non-GMO. In addition to original Cheerios, General Mills manufactures 11 other varieties of Cheerios for sale in the U.S., including highly popular Honey Nut Cheerios, and the other 11 varieties continue to include GMOs. General Mills admits on its website that all Cheerios cereals sold in Europe are made without GMOs, and increasingly, U.S. consumers will be calling on General Mills to make all its cereals non-GMO in the U.S. as well.