As if to illustrate the point I was making about the coming controversies around GMO foods, General Mills looks to have lost control of its Facebook page over GMO concerns.
Curious about what horrible, baby-killing ingredient that General Mills was sneaking into their breakfast cereal, I tried to get some info about the genetically modified ingredients causing all the stir. Sadly, the only thing I could find was all-out fear tactics without any real information or evidence of risk.
Here is the “expose” of Cheerios ingredients–except other than saying Cheerios has GM ingredients, I can’t find where they specifically point out what ingredient, what makes it GM, and why that is bad.
Here’s a listing of GM and Non-GM Foods, but I can’t for the life of me find an explanation of the basis they have for making these determinations.
Admittedly, I haven’t spent hours digging for the bad stuff that everyone is afraid of. But if those so concerned about “truth in food” want me to know the truth, why do they make it so hard to find?
The listing of GM foods is very interesting, for two reasons. One, it is clear that the majority of foods we now eat would fall under these folk’s definition of GM–which in itself indicates that the scare tactics are way out of line. With rare exception, our food is safe. And attaching a dreadfully frightening label to it does not make it unsafe. The second reason is that everyone of those brands and brands that use those targeted ingredients are under a cloud. The sword of Damocles swings slowly above them. Today it is Cheerios, tomorrow, someone else.
That being said, General Mills called this special attack on themselves by supporting the campaign to defeat Proposition 37, the GMO labeling initiative that was defeated in California in the last election. Doing this, they put a big target on their backs and it has not taken long for the activists to take their revenge.
What’s General Mills to do? Hmmm, tough, Change their name? I suspect that the wild-eyed out there are already trying to equate GM with GM. Genetically modified with General Mills. Ouch.
There is only one answer to this issue, it seems, which is education. And this is far beyond the scope of General Mills alone–this affects a good part of the agriculture, food processing and food manufacturing industries in addition to retailing. Genetic modification needs to be understood in simple, non-technical ways and its safety fully, completely and honestly discussed. The ignorant fear attached to that term must be removed. But until the public becomes more educated and the activists forced to be more honest, the fear tactic of attaching the term GM or GMO to a targeted enemy will be very effective.
The really sad thing is not the General Mills is being harmed. But mothers will stop feeding their children one of the few breakfast cereals not loaded with sugar out of an irrational fear. While I’m a bit skeptical of the overblown cholesterol reducing claims of Cheerios, there is not question it is one of the healthier diet alternatives. But all that goodness and the benefits it provided may be lost in this cloud of fear. Sad really, and evil in its own way.