Jan 02, 2014 • By

The One and Only Cheerios

Consumers across the U.S. are seeing “not made with genetically modified ingredients” this week on familiar yellow boxes of original Cheerios.

Did we change Cheerios?

No. Not really.

Original Cheerios has always been made with whole grain oats, and there are no GMO oats. We do use a small amount of corn starch in cooking, and just one gram of sugar per serving for taste. And now that corn starch comes only from non-GM corn, and our sugar is only non-GM pure cane sugar.

What changed is how we source and handle certain ingredients in our plants.

Why change anything at all? It’s simple. We did it because we think consumers may embrace it.

General Mills offers non-GM choices in most of our major categories in the U.S., and now we can say the same about the ingredients in original Cheerios.

But it’s not about safety. Biotech seeds, also known as genetically modified seeds, have been approved by global food safety agencies and widely used by farmers in global food crops for almost 20 years.

And it was never about pressure. In fact, General Mills’ position on GMOs hasn’t changed.

Neither has Cheerios, really. The simple and unique nature of Cheerios made this possible – and it’s not much of a change at all. The product is essentially the same.

So take heart Cheerios lovers! Cheerios isn’t changing. It’s still the One and Only.

Editor’s note: For more information, visit

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  • Laura Westbrook

    Just a note to say I am grateful to see at least one large corporation agreeing to label. Even if it is to label non GMO, as opposed to labeling when GMO is present! Consumers do overwhelmingly want to know.

    • paintinc56

      The children in third world countries who would be starving to de ath without them seem to be doing o.k. Just out of curiosity does slau ghtering babies who can FEEL PAIN at 20 weeks give you cause for concern?

  • LeahO

    As a general rule my family avoids General Mills’ products because of the GMOs. Maybe they’re safe – and maybe they’re not. But it’s not a risk we are willing to take. Thank you so much for doing this! I hope that you consider making this change in all of your products. In return, my family will consider eating General Mills’ products once again.

    • Chris Ashcroft

      There are too many very seriously disturbing studies of GMO feed to lab rats for me to want to use any GMO products until more stringent testing by a non-affiliated company is released. Considering the fact that companies like Monsanta have tried to use bribery to get their products passed for human consumption sure doesn’t help one bit either.

      • paintinc56

        Did Kate Moss tell you it might be bad for you? WHO did these “studies”, how were they conducted? Was there any ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC PROOF, not just speculation? Global Warming has been debunked by ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC PROOF but media hype & PAID “opinion” sure have duped a LOT of people.

        • Dale Burden

          Actually Global warming was proven several times and even the Republicans hired a group to debunk it and they came back saying it was real.

    • Jortiz3

      I hope your children learn lots of science.

  • Synergis Software

    Thanks for taking a huge step forward to deliver better, healthier food to our children and our children’s children. Your effort is a milestone and should encourage other food companies to follow. Outstanding news for the New year!

  • Kristin Troska

    I wish Cheerios would use organic oats. I love original Cheerios but would prefer organic and would pay more.

    • Monsanto Corp.

      Try Trader Joe’s Joe’s O’s. They’re almost identical to Cheerios, but organic and non-GMO.


      The article says gmo oats don’t exist..meaning all oats are organic

      • Kelly Story Marshall

        Sproutsofspring, GMO and organic are two different things. GMO means the seeds of a plant were purposefully chosen to have a specific DNA. Organic means the seeds and then plants of a crop were grown with specific chemicals to kill bugs and weeds. As a farmer I understand food science can be confusing! Unfortunately, many people make food choices without a good understanding.

        • Dale Burden

          Um…organic uses NO chemicals. Hence the term organic.

      • Tecpedz94

        LMAO WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!!! Just because a product is not GMO does not make it organic lol….. Most comerically grown food at your grocery store is laced with chemicals such as pesticides herbisides fungicides ect.. ever heard of those?? When a food is organic it is labeled organic and should be certified and organic foods could nto have GM ingredients in them, regardless nothing beats growing your own:p

      • Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

        NOT QUITE. Non-GMO does not mean organic. It simply means conventional. You people need to do your research!

      • Cathy Barber

        Conventionally grown oats are not organic. If non-GMO but grown using pesticides & non-organic fertilizers, they are certainly NOT organic. Your conclusion is erroneous, sorry.

  • Sudhin

    This is great news, certainly a step in the right direction! The next thing to part ways with is BHT.

    • Sam Johnson

      They aren’t “parting ways” with GMO. Did you not read the entire post?

      “And it was never about pressure. In fact, General Mills’ position on GMOs hasn’t changed.”

      • On the Mountain

        Smoke and mirrors, that’s all it is.

      • Laurie Wilks

        That’s correct Sam they said they haven’t changed anything.

  • Joel Staadecker

    Congratulations on a courageous and brilliant, I might add, decision. I’ll take a second look at all General Mills products now.

  • Alicia Richway O’Donnell

    Thank you! We had stopped eating Cheerios due to GMO concerns. We will gladly come back now!

  • Tecpedz94

    I haven’t bought cereals at my local grocery store in a years expecially since all of them contain GM ingredients. I dont eat cereals often but when i do they come from organic options like natures path and i use to love the original cheerios cereal, maybe i will reconsider if i approve all of the ingredients as well as them being GM free from what this article says. Im very surprised that a huge food corporation like general mills made this change i really hope they change all their ingredients to NON GMO and continue the chain to ban these ingredients!

  • frishy

    How about taking out the REAL danger…sugar…

  • thefarmersdaughter

    This disappoints me. Even though you didn’t change the product, the label insinuates that 1) you did change the product, and 2) that there is something wrong with genetically modified foods. I’m sorry you did this. As a big consumer of Cheerios, I’m sorry to say I will no longer be purchasing your products, and I will be encouraging my followers to avoid them as well.

    • McNamara

      As an obvious GMO supporter you have an ample choice available too you.

      General Mills has made a very wise business decision for the growing majority of “parents” who have a cautionary view of these foods that are primarily eaten by the most vulnerable among us; our children..

    • LeahO

      Why? Labeling gives consumers knowledge and a fair choice. I don’t think they are being misleading at all – they clearly state that they are not doing this for safety concerns and that GMO food is currently recognized as safe.

  • HJ Liriano

    Really Thank you so much! I used to buy organic cheerios style cereals from Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s mainly to avoid genetically modified products. Now I can buy big boxes of Cheerios at Costco!! (At lease I don’t have to go to the organic stores for cheerios style cereals.) If you guys have any plan to make organic cereals, I definitely support!
    Happy new year to everyone at General Mills!

  • John Diaz


    General Mills was one of the bad guys in the recent elections with Prop 37 in California and I-522 in Washington. General Mills, took away your vote with their deep pockets of cash to spread to deceive the public, to control public opinion. The public responded with a boycott of these traitor brands. The concern is that they made a living insecticide out of corn and because of biotech’s corporate pressure through the revolving door, our government failed to do lengthy testing for food safety. Regardless of what you hear, these crops have undergone limited testing. Do some research on your own and not parrot disinformation to the public. General Mills took away your vote with deep pockets of cash to spread their lies to decieve the public. If you have the desire and have the ability, look up and view the Freedom of infromation documents that show the FDA’s own scientists concern for the lack of long term safety studies. We have many promising technologies that could be helpful to feed the world but in it’s present form the GMO industry amounts to a corprorate monopoly of the food chain. It’s like Nuclear Energy: In order to create electricity we create a radiation polution problem. To grow GMO’s foods you create a chemical pesticide and herbicide pollution problem; problems that we do not fully understand the impact; which is why there needs to be a label on this food. Solution: label these foods untill proven safe by doing the long term tests. Put these foods to a transparent public scrutiny. Now!

  • HJ Liriano

    I used to go to Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s to get cheerios style cereal to avoid genetically modified cereal.
    But now I can get big boxes of Cheerios when I go to Costco!
    (At lease I don’t have to go to organic stores just to get cereal.)
    Thank you very much!
    If you have a plan to make any organic cereal, I definitely support!
    Happy new year to everyone at General Mills.

  • maclll

    It’s great to see that someone is listening to “The People” for a change. Especially a company that uses promotions like little babies eating Cheerios. It’s great to know that General Mills will not be poisoning our children with GMO tainted Cheerios. To know that General Mills is actually offering a safe product for parents to feed their children.

  • Alan

    My wife and I stopped eating anything from General Mills, Campbell and many other company due to GMO, especially after seeing the Seranlini Study showing rat tumors the size of Texas eating GMO. Don’t be fooled by GM acting like they are doing you a favor by removing any GMO from there products. The only reason they are doing so is the public, at least the ones who know the damage being done to there body by GMO; that by the way is growing by leaps & bounds has stopped buying there product. GM; here’s my advise; If you want to see your product sales go through the roof, remove all GMO’s from your products and advertise it as GMO free and then watch your investors smile all the way to the bank.

  • S. Smith

    Thanks GM for going non-GMO. I am a product demonstrator with a large mkting. company. Now when I demo a GM/Cherrios product I will have another positive thing to say about you. also, just for myself I buy non-GMO foods and am delighted you have taken this step.

    • Alan

      I was just wondering how you could find anything good to promote about any GMO containing product?

  • Andy Webb

    In case you read your own comments, and as someone who ate Cheerios this morning, I will boycotting your products until you change this. You guys know full well there is nothing wrong with GMO foods, but now people will be writing “even General Mills knows GMO foods are bad for you.” I see the comments like this below. Shame on you. There are people the world who may die because of delays in authorizing productive or healthy seeds because of such misinformation.

    • Heather Sickels

      In case YOU read your own replies, just because it is “science” does not mean GMO agriculture is a positive thing for the planet or people.
      Your statement is stubborn, full of guilt and sounds like blind faith
      in the corporate, marketing monopoly of modern day American agriculture-not some heaven send feeder of the world-do you really believe that is Monsanto’s mission? We do not have to settle for half-assed solutions to global problems.

    • Cathy Barber

      Thankfully I still get to choose what I want to eat & that is predominantly non-GMO. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to control if eating out so we rarely do eat out.

      Andy, it sounds like the chemicals are talking for you. Clear your body of them & you’ll feel better & think more clearly perhaps. Nature did not intend for your body to be fed GMOs, Monsanto did.

  • tiberius04

    I am disappointed that GM has chosen to pander to fear-mongers in this fashion. I will not be purchasing any products with the GMO free label.

  • McNamara

    Presently 64 other countries label or ban GMO products and our American Academy of Environmental Medicines states: “because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks:

    Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.

    Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.

    Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.

    For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.

    ~General Mills you have made a very wise business decision and informed consumers thank you and hope you move to be a GM~free brand.

  • Alan

    Just thought I would show you the Photo from Seralini GMO Study

  • Michael Loewenthal

    Good move on the part of General Mills. Consider doing the same for
    your other products and look at alternatives to the BHT and BHA. It has
    been some time since I have had Cheerios because of the GMO, now I’ll
    it once again.

  • Jennifer Stranberg Robinson

    Thank you so much for doing this and agreeing to label my favorite cereal in the world as a non-GMO! I have not been purchasing cheerios lately, however, I will now be able to buy and enjoy them again! THANK YOU!! Please consider doing this to the rest of your product lines.

  • Justin Tilson

    Thank-you. Please stop funding anti-labelling laws. Consumers deserve the right to know what’s in their food. Short-term industry-funded studies are the norm and are designed to hide any potential bad news with GMOs. We’re better off without them.

    • Heather Sickels

      Yes, GM please stop funding anti-labelling laws! Good move experimenting with dropping a small percentage of your GMO ingredients from your foods. It will pay$ off, now get out of the political pondering and make great food! Its 2014! Where will GM be in 2020?

  • jkag

    I am disappointed to see General Mills cave to pressure from activists (all reasonably well fed I would imagine) who oppose techniques of agricultural production they do not understand, based on fear and a very successful misinformation campaign. General Mills GMO policy referenced in this blog makes it appear that the company recognizes the benefits of GMOs; that they help ensure a safe supply of food for hungry people across the globe and bring along environmental benefits (less chemical use, less environmentally sensitive land cleared to grow crops) as a nice bonus. Yet by now labeling “Cheerios as not made with GMOs” , GM is clearly implying that there is something wrong with GMOs. I don’t thing they intend to make this statement, they just want to sell more Cheerios, but this new labeling will reinforce mistaken fears of GMOs among those already so inclined, and create confusion & a negative bias towards GMO’s among those who currently have no opinion on the matter and are easily influenced (fooled). Actions like this taken by marketing departments to sell product by aligning with the loudly misinformed can in the long run cause great harm. I will begin immediately to avoid General Mills products & encourage those I come in contact with to do the same.

  • Pd Johnson

    OK, I embrace the move, but you seem to be speaking out of two sides of the issue. To say that consumers will “embrace it” says that CONSUMERS ARE DEMANDING NON-GM’s based foods and that is because, contrary to what you are saying, INTERNATIONAL BODIES DO NOT EMBRACE GM’s as safe: PERIOD. So, that is misleading. My wife and I are in the EU and people here are NOT accepting GM’s as safe and the trend is also towards locally grown organic food which is fresher by a long shot. We are Americans, by the way and I feel better already only after 3 months of eating fresh food here.

    SO, I applaud you but your message is “muddled” at best. HERE IS WHAT A PAST SILICON VALLEY EXEC SAYS YOU SHOULD SAY: “We, as a Corporation, are moving towards non-GMO based products because our consumers are demanding. “Embracing” is a chicken-doo-doo word and should not be part of a clear campaign. If you want more advice, email me.

  • GregH

    I appreciate that General Mills is voicing a science based statement about the safety of genetically engineered crops, but find it disappointing that the decision was made to place those labels on the Cheerios. That creates the impression that there is something wrong with GE ingredients, which could not be further from the truth, and I believe will contribute to negative social, agricultural, and environmental repercussions. I will not purchase anything with such a label.

    • Right To Know

      I feel the complete opposite of your opinion of GMOs, but this is really no different than a “contains allergens” label. It matters to those who wish to avoid certain substances and shouldn’t change anything for the rest. But if you wish to only put GMOs into your body then labeling is also a way to give Monsanto your full support. We all win.
      Speaking of allergens- I believe changing the genetic make up of our food is the reason why food allergies are steadily increasing at an alarming rate. Change a food’s protein, the immune system recognizes it as a foreign substance and attacks.

  • mh

    Good baby step on Cheerios. But I will thank General Mills and buy their products when they stop making mega-cash contributions to defeat citizen initiatives to require GMO labeling.

    Its not just about safety! Consumers should have the right to know what they eat. I don’t want to support Monsanto and Dow Chemical GMO products so they can blast crops with agent orange chemicals and pesticides. Monsanto is evil in how they take small farmers to court and ruin them if they try to use/sell their own seed or their crops become polluted with their neighbors GMO crop.

    Food Inc., and other good films and websites can give you more information. Big agri-business owns congress. We need to fight back.

  • MyNightmare

    I stopped buying GM products due to their GMO stance. The announcement of the of GMO Cheerios decision is a step in the right direction, I choose to steer clear until they have done the right thing and removed all GMO from all products. When developed nations refuse to buy American products with GMO ingredients there has to be a reason. Great job, but you have more work to do…

  • McNamara

    Excellent decision!

  • LeahO

    I hope that companies like General Mills will continue to take steps towards “natural food” once again. Take out all of the extra soy, GMOs, artificial colors, preservatives, etc. Our food doesn’t need it – and more and more customers do not want it. (or are allergic and can’t eat it!)

  • jim2

    Personally, I’m fine if Cheerios use GMO foods. Even the oats would be OK with me. And I am a customer.

  • jim2

    Also, I’m don’t believe organic oats would render any advantage. There would be a disadvantage – the food we eat would be more expensive. Don’t listen to the anti-technology people, they are simply a vocal minority.

  • jim2

    If you do ever want to offer organic-only food, make it a separate product, so those of us who aren’t chicken littles can get our food at a good price.

  • Brenda James

    I love original Cheerios but would prefer organic.

  • angie

    I wish people would really look into what they are saying. I know as farmers we now do not need to use the nasty chemicals that were once used. I guess you would rather have the chemicals on the food products instead.

    • Right To Know

      You listed two options, there are three. 1) Harmful chemicals put on our
      foods with the old conventional farming use of pesticides, as you
      stated. 2) Changing the genetic make-up of foods which either turns the
      food into pesticide, or enables MORE chemicals to be sprayed onto the
      food without killing the crop, and also changing the food’s protein
      contributing to the ever-increasing rate of food allergies. These two
      methods make horrible soil conditions, deplete our food of nutrients and
      pollute our water. 3) Organic farming without the use of harmful
      chemicals while enriching the soil and giving our food the nutrients it
      was meant to have. Organic farming is not a “trend”, it is the way our
      food is supposed to be- natural, nourishing, and non-toxic. Other
      countries have banned GMO food for a reason. The GMO food stays in
      America while we ship out the non-GMO stuff for everyone else who has
      done the studies and watched the tumors grow, among many other ailments.
      Everyone should have the choice of the three options mentioned above,
      but that can’t happen without labeling. Hopefully organic will still be
      an option in the future, contamination is becoming a problem.

  • Cubbie11

    Thank you GM. Personally, we pay more to buy healthier food, often organic that is hopefully non-GMO. I’m going back to my Cheerios!

  • The Ninja Baker

    I am thrilled to see that General Mills is leading the way with nonGMO Cheerios. While I do not agree with your position on the safety of GMO products, I am thrilled that you listen to and care about the concerns of your customers.

  • Donna September

    You make it sound like a small change but this is huge and hopefully starts a trend toward taking back our food supply. In our attempt to “feed the world” we have destroyed the grains that the Maker gave us- shame on us to think we could improve on His plan. Thank you for this move and hopefully it is only the beginning of more big companies making this change.

  • Kelly Story Marshall

    I’m disappointed with this decision. GMOs are safe but you are not using them? You are, in fact, adding to the hysteria and misinformation. Badly done.

  • Angela Faraguna

    Thank you for doing this. I have an 8 year old son who loves cereal, but I would only buy it from the health food store when it was labeled GMO free. I now can add Cheerios to the list, which will make my weekly shopping easier.

  • Connie

    Thank you so much for this move! I’m excited to see a large company pay attention to the consumer demand for GMO labeling!

  • Peter Santini

    This is a Great decision to be commended. How about an Organic version. I would pay a premium and so would millions of others….

  • Wendell webber


  • Demand Freedom Now

    It’s a step in the right direction. Thank You! Now I wonder about pesticides.

  • St_McDuck

    It’s about time. All General Mills products should be non-GMO. I might start eating them again in that case.

  • Simone Cromer

    I’m not sure I trust GM on this. Your cheerios need to be independently studied first by the Verified non-GMO group to be confirmed as non-GMO. Until then, I’m still suspicious.

  • robin

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO much for going non- GMO. i will be going back to buying cheerios now because of this.

  • anita

    While I salute Cherios for talking about GMOs, the wind certainly has changed if GM is talking about this, is this actually approved by the Non-GMO project or will this be a label like “natural”, which means absolutely nothing?

    I have not bought GMO Cherios for the last 10 years because it contains corn and almost all corn is GMO. How do you source corn that is non GMO? Is there actually any corn that is non-GMO (other than organic)?

    In this press release, you basically are saying: We have not changed our product, it still contains corn, but now we are pretending it has no GMOs because its cool to say it? Really? I guess I need more convincing that you can actually source non-GMO corn.

  • VAfrmNJ

    I think consumers would like your cereal even more if you did not use GMO products in ALL varieties. However, I will think of this as a “testing ground” to see if it sells more than other brands or competitors’ brands.

  • Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

    General Kills still donated against our right to know whether or not our food was genetically engineered. I cannot support this company, regardless.

    • Zan

      Oh, didn’t know that. Now they have more flaws they need to fix in their company. They’re running their company into the ground. A new better company will rise with real values to not poison their customers’ bodies.

  • Margaret Manzi

    There is more to consider about “non-GMO” foods than whether or not they are safe to ingest. There are serious environmental consequences to widespread use of “Roundup ready” type seeds.

  • Ky Belser

    I hope they are sincere because we are watching (also because the stock price depends on it )

  • Bill

    The only thing that was changed was the printing on the box, that will necessitate a price hike to the stuff from around $4.00 to $8.00 or $10 per box — Thanks Tom !!! NOT !!!!!~!

  • Arationofreason

    Did any of you ever stop to think that all plants are genetically modified every year by mother nature. The difference is the resulting mutations are not generally selected by man.

  • nmoore

    Thank you for making the change to non GMO corn starch and pure cane sugar. Now the next step is to get rid of all GMO’s in your other cereals!!!

  • Denise

    Thank you for giving me the option of choosing whether I will consume a product with or without GMOs.

  • Cranston

    Very sad to see this org cave in the naive sophist minority tweedleheads. This will increase their costs which they’ll spread to all their products. I’ll make it a point now to avoid General Mills products when alternatives are available. Silly people.

  • Donna Scott

    Thank you for giving us a healthy option with your original cheerios. I am sad though that all of your other flavors are not getting rid of the GMO’s. The research scares me about GMO’s. they have found significant traces in mother’s breast milk of the GMO agrichemicals, also 75 percent of Monarch butterflies are gone because of the GMO plants, and an organic farmer in Hawaii is having to cut down all 170 trees of his papaya farm because GMO farms on the island infected his. Please don’t support this science at all until it gets to the point where it is safe to let out into the ecosystem.

  • Shawn Conners

    Thank you General Mills.

    Sincerely, a satisfied customer.

  • Zan

    As long as any General Mills cereals have BHT/TBHQ or anything similar in them, I’m not buying anymore GM products. Furthermore, I just threw away a box of unopened CTC bought in a 2 box family sized box. Ate an entire box without knowing about the BHT inside it, now I’m pretty PO’d. You really want to eat the same thing they put in embalming fluid & jet fuel?

    Just lost a lifetime customer GM. Better fix it or you’ll lose many more. Don’t let greed of increasing shelf life make you lose customers.

  • Chris E Barrett

    Why aren’t you shouting it from the rooftops? And what about Cheerios in Canada? Also GMO free?

  • Laurie Wilks

    I do not trust anything that they tell me at this point because they will lie through their teeth to us about GMO’s as Monsanto has all along for gods sake Monsanto will sue over this to keep YOU in the DARK so why trust them or General Mills. I will never buy their products.

  • Marcus Jasso

    Suhweet !! Now we can eat Cheerios again. Bout time. 😀

  • Matt
  • kellerfamily

    get rid of the sugar. period.