CheeriosTo Become GMO-Free, A Big Business Decision For General MillsBy: Tobias Roth - January 3, 2014
With all of the controversy surrounding GMOs and the way they are used in food, some companies are starting to take notice, and are altering their products as a result, which should be able to help their business.
People all over the country have been working to get foods labeled that contain GMO ingredients, and eventually be able to have them removed. In a movement that keeps growing, it is likely to be something that will be beneficial to both the business owner and the consumer.
Any company that is willing to alter their products to please those consumers are likely to have better business, and gain more customers of the product. There is no assurance that removing the genetically modified ingredients will be a solution, but General Mills has also struggled over the past year, and sales of Cheerios dropped about 7 percent.
In case anyone has yet to encounter the term, GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides.
As a business, General Mills felt that eliminating genetically modified ingredients from their product would be beneficial to the consumer. In their announcement to the public, the company said “Why change anything at all? It’s simple. We did it because we think consumers may embrace it.”
They also went on to say in a closing statement, “So take heart Cheerios lovers! Cheerios isn’t changing. It’s still the One and Only.” Cheerios will still be the product that everyone loves, and while it has always been made from whole-grain oats that are not genetically modified, they use a small amount of corn starch in cooking, and just one gram of sugar for taste.
As Mike Siemienas, the spokesman for General Mills, said “For other cereals, the widespread use of GM seed for corn, soy, and beet sugar make moving to non-GMO ingredients difficult, if not impossible.”
However, the short ingredient list for Cheerios that only includes whole grain oats, corn starch, sugar, salt, tripotassium phosphate, wheat starch, and vitamins and minerals is what made it such an easy task for General Mills.
According to Mother Jones, GMOs are present in 60 to 70 percent of foods on US supermarket shelves, and the most common products to contain GMO ingredients are corn, sugar beets, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed.
As of recently, Cheerios will only be using corn starch that comes from non-GMO corn and the sugar is only non-GMO pure cane sugar.
In a smart business decision, General Mills has decided to cater to the many customers who have been demanding that the public have the right to know what is in their food, and not be subjected to eat products that have been genetically modified.
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