MINNEAPOLIS -- General Mills said its original Cheerios are now made without genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMOs. As a result, original Cheerios are labeled "Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients." The change does not apply to any other Cheerios flavors, such as Apple Cinnamon Cheerios or Multi Grain Cheerios.
"We were able to do this with original Cheerios because the main ingredients are oats," said Mike Siemienas, a company spokesman, pointing out that there are no genetically modified oats. He said the company is primarily switching the cornstarch and sugar to make the original Cheerios GMO-free.
Other Cheerios varieties are made with corn, making it harder for the company to make them free of GMOs, Siemienas said.
The company maintains that government-approved genetically engineered foods are safe to eat. Genetic engineering alters plant genes as a way to boost yields and build disease resistance.
There has been little scientific evidence to prove that foods grown from engineered ingredients are less safe than their conventional counterparts. But consumers have expressed concerns about the long-term impact they could have on their health.
Today, 93% of all soybeans and 90% of all corn grown in the U.S. are genetically modified varietals, according to the Department of Agriculture.