GMO Activists Make Headway In Cereal Category

Post Cereals' GMO-free announcement closely follows General Mills' move to make non-GMO Cheerios

Published on: Jan 17, 2014

Cereal manufacturer Post announced this week that it will begin manufacturing a "Non-GMO Verified" version of the company's staple barley and wheat cereal, Grape-Nuts.

The decision is being widely celebrated by activist group GMO Inside, which has rallied thousands of consumers to speak out against genetically modified organisms and GMO-derived ingredients in hundreds of consumer products.

According to a statement attributed to Post, the new non-GMO verified Grape-Nuts, which required non-GMO soy protein, is hitting shelves this month. Efforts are underway to add more non-GMO verified products to the Post Foods product line.

"We are always listening to our consumers and looking for ways to provide a good variety of products," the statement said.

Post Cereals GMO-free announcement closely follows General Mills move to make non-GMO Cheerios
Post Cereals' GMO-free announcement closely follows General Mills' move to make non-GMO Cheerios

Post also manufactures popular cereals like Great Grains, Shredded Wheat and Raisin Bran, and lists a commitment to no high fructose corn syrup as it's number one company value.

Post isn't the first, however, to announce a significant move to offering non-GMO products. GMO Inside celebrated a win earlier this month when another cereal manufacturer, General Mills, agreed to remove corn starch and sugar derived from GMO crops from original Cheerios.

But GMO Inside hasn't let up pressure. The group says General Mills should follow Post's lead and add third party verification, meaning that an outside source would confirm that the product excludes GMO ingredients.

It took GMO Inside more than a year to achieve General Mills action on Cheerios, the group said, beginning in November 2012 with a campaign using Cheerios' own social media page to protest GMOs.

Related: Group Criticizes Plan to Block State GMO Labeling Initiatives

"We believe that everyone has a right to know what’s in their food and to choose foods that are proven safe for themselves, their families, and the environment," the GMO Inside mission says.

That's also a key argument for another group, GMO Free USA, which is currently petitioning Kellogg's to remove GMOs from Froot Loops cereal.

It's an ongoing debate that's sure to remain red-hot through 2014, as legislators jump in the discussion. Sen. Dianne Feinstein just last month suggested that President Obama skip Congressional input and direct the FDA to require labels on all food containing GM ingredients.

Individual states are also interested in labeling, too – both Connecticut and Maine have provisions that allow labeling to kick in as long as a certain number of states also pass similar measures. Washington and California are both home to failed ballot initiatives, each being voted down by narrow margins.