Cereal maker General Mills announced this month that it no longer uses ingredients derived from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in original Cheerios.

To put this in perspective, you should know that Cheerios are made almost entirely from oats, a grain that has not yet been genetically modified. Only a small amount of beet sugar and cornstarch in Cheerios ever came from GMOs. The company modified its ingredient storage and manufacturing procedures to ensure that these two ingredients are now GMO-free as well.

Significantly, the company did not promise to make its other cereal products from non-GMO grains or ingredients. That’s because many of their cereal products contain corn, and over 85% of all corn produced in the U.S. is genetically modified. The company did not even promise to remove ingredients derived from GMOs from its Honey Nut or Apple Cheerios, at least at this time.

General Mills did not say that it was taking this action because it believes that GMOs are actually harmful. Good for them, because the available scientific evidence does not support the conclusion that GMOs are harming consumers. General Mills’ decision to eliminate GMOs from Cheerios was apparently just a calculated marketing decision; a move designed to placate anti-GMO activists and consumers who worry that GMOs are (or may prove to be) harmful, despite the current lack of evidence.

General Mills’ decision came after an anti-GMO activist group called Green America launched a "No GMOs, Cheerios!" campaign online. Coincidence? You decide.

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