With the threat of a future peppered exclusively with mutant cyborg fruits, vegetables and salmon hanging in front of us, critics of genetically-modified foods have been urging manufacturers to steer clear of ingredients with tweaked DNAs. And this week, General Mills announced that Cheerios will start going GMO-free, making it the first major packaged food brand to make the switch.
Only plain Cheerios will be tossing GMOs; Honey Nut Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios and the like will not be affected. According to General Mills spokesperson Mike Siemienas, Cheerios were an easy pick for the GMO-free move, since the cereal's main ingredient, oats, were not genetically-modified. They only needed to purge mutant sugar and cornstarch to earn an unofficial "Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients;" the labels will also note that the cereals may include trace amounts of GMO ingredients.
Though many anti-GMO supporters are cheering General Mills' move, Wired points out that the whole thing seems like more of a convenient PR stunt than a condemnation of genetically-modified foods, claiming the company is just "exploiting consumer fears to sell more cereal."
If you support GMOs, you should hardly be placated by the company’s assurance that it’s still on your side. Pulling GMOs from Cheerios, an iconic American brand, is a public relations victory for the anti-GMO side. Whatever General Mills says, the decision gives the appearance of the company caving to pressure from anti-GMO activists, which will embolden them to push harder. From the pro-GMO point of view, propaganda wins and science loses.
Whatever, Cheerios, you're still lame. A post-dawn dose of Lucky Charms will course through your veins with the power of a million mutant sugar cubes, just like the chemical Breakfast Gods intended.