- After some pressure from anti-GMO interests, General Mills rolled out Original Cheerios without GMO-free ingredients at the beginning of this year.
- While that move was applauded by the interest groups like GMOInside, General Mills reports that it has little to cheer about.
- General Mills CEO Ken Powell said that in spite of the influx of supportive letters and positive online comments, the company was "not really seeing anything there that we can detect" with respect to an increase in sales.
Cheerios' commitment to source its sugar and corn starch only from sources that were not genetically modified was one of the big GMO food decisions for 2013. It won some approval from GMOInside, though the organization also asks the cereal manufacturer to remove GMO ingredients from Honey Nut Cheerios, which contains a lot more elements that are likely to be GMO-sourced. Another demand it has made, and one that it may offer insight as to why GMO-free Cheerios are not doing well, is that General Mills offers something besides its own word that GMO ingredients have been eliminated. GMOInside wants the manufacturer to use an independent, third-party verification. However, General Mills will likely point to sales results as proof that the investment will not pay off.