Original Cheerios Will Soon Be GMO-Free (There Aren’t Any Genetically Modified Oats Anyway)

General Mills says it’s been making original-flavor Cheerios without genetically modified organisms and that they’ll be on store shelves soon after consumers piped up to ask for GMO-free products. It’s only doing so for the original flavor because that one is mostly oats and conveniently enough, there aren’t any genetically modified oats anyway.

It’s updated the flavor by switching the cornstarch and sugar out, said a spokesman, which was easy enough only with its basic version of Cheerios, reports the Associated Press.

“We were able to do this with original Cheerios because the main ingredients are oats,” the spokesman added, pointing out that no oats have GMOs. Each box will bear a label reading “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.”

That’s not so much an official certification as a way to alert customers that it’s trying to go GMO-free. There could be trace amounts of GMO ingredients however, due to the way the Cheerios are made.

Again, other flavors like Apple Cinnamon or Honey Nut Cheerios won’t get the same GMO-scrubbing as they use ingredients like corn. While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence out there that shows that a food with GMOs is less safe than one without, some consumer groups have put pressure on food manufacturers to remove them, citing potential long-term effects.

One such consumer group called Green America started a campaign asking General Mills to make Cheerios GMO-free. Its corporate responsibility director said that this move is “an important victory in getting GMOs out of our food supply and an important first step for General Mills.”

Original Cheerios to go GMO-free [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.