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Cheerios To Go GMO-Free

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the marketing-to-your-fears dept.

Biotech 419

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "ABC News reports that General Mills has ended the use of genetically modified ingredients in Cheerios, its flagship breakfast food. General Mills has been manufacturing its original-flavor Cheerios without GMOs for the past several weeks in response to consumer demand. Original Cheerios will now be labeled as 'Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients,' although that it is not an official certification. 'We were able to do this with original Cheerios because the main ingredients are oats,' says Mike Siemienas, noting that there are no genetically modified oats. The company is primarily switching the cornstarch and sugar to make the original Cheerios free of GMOs. Green America has been targeting Cheerios for the past year to raise the profile of the anti-GMO movement. 'This is a big deal,' says Green America's Todd Larsen. 'Cheerios is an iconic brand and one of the leading breakfast cereals in the U.S. We don't know of any other example of such a major brand of packaged food, eaten by so many Americans, going from being GMO to non-GMO.' For its part, General Mills says, It's not about safety,' and will continue to use GMOs in other food products."

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GMOs feed over a billion people (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861113)

Genetically modified food feeds over a billion people who would not otherwise be able to eat given the arable land available. The "organic" craze is for marketing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5amLAMRQk5I

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 8 months ago | (#45861213)

So you're saying that the increase in productivity of GMO grains over "traditional" grains, given the same arable land area is enough to feed an additional billion people? In a word: bullshit.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861265)

It's a commonly quoted number. See Green Revolution. [wikipedia.org]

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (2, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 8 months ago | (#45861283)

GP is giving all the credit to GMO seeds. He's lying.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

dentin (2175) | about 8 months ago | (#45861431)

Yes. I would say exactly that.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Insightful)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | about 8 months ago | (#45861525)

If you actually study the green revolution and agriculture, it is indeed an accurate figure.

The only difference between modern GMO food and previous versions, is that radiation mutation was used to create the variants. Now, with targeted gene sequencing and replacing there is no need to use messy, time consuming and partially random radiation mutation methods.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Informative)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 8 months ago | (#45861705)

<sigh> The original poster gave ALL the credit for feeding a billion starving people to (only) Genetically Modified/Engineered seeds, completely ignoring the better irrigation, fertilization, insect control, and crop rotation practices, and yes, hybrid seeds that have been being exported to the third world for the last 60-or-so years. I was simply taking exception to his outrageously false claim. Yet somehow, he's Insightful, and I'm Overrated. I think many people would have much less of a problem with GMO foods in general if Monsanto's business practices weren't so oppressively evil, and the notion of routinely spraying Roundup on all our cereal grains (both for humans and livestock) weren't quite so heinous.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861227)

Nope, this is a lobbying message subsidized by Monsanto and co, it is actually very possible to feed everyone with the food we create and the land we have. More importantly, it hides the fact that GMOs are not at all used to feed the aforementioned starving peoples. Quite contrarily, GMO seeds have been repeatedly used for market domination through legislative bullying, most infamously ending in the suicide of farmers in india due to non-affordable seed prices after Monsanto cleared the market from other companies by undercutting and legal bullying before rising the cost.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45861323)

Nope, this is a lobbying message subsidized by Monsanto and co, it is actually very possible to feed everyone with the food we create and the land we have. More importantly, it hides the fact that GMOs are not at all used to feed the aforementioned starving peoples. Quite contrarily, GMO seeds have been repeatedly used for market domination through legislative bullying, most infamously ending in the suicide of farmers in india due to non-affordable seed prices after Monsanto cleared the market from other companies by undercutting and legal bullying before rising the cost.

In other news today, 1/3 of the world is now Obese.

We don't need no stinkin' GMO food, it's all about making seed banks all bound to Intellectual Property and making money for Monsanto, et al. Call a horse a horse.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 8 months ago | (#45861601)

>> In other news today, 1/3 of the world is now Obese.

Vote Soylent Green Party 2016

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861333)

this is a lobbying message subsidized by Monsanto and co

Evidence, please.

Quite contrarily, GMO seeds have been repeatedly used for market domination through legislative bullying, most infamously ending in the suicide of farmers in india due to non-affordable seed prices after Monsanto cleared the market from other companies by undercutting and legal bullying before rising the cost.

Debunked (see link below). Citations within.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism#Farmer_suicide_in_India

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 8 months ago | (#45861403)

Even before GMO foods were invented we allowed a lot of produce to rot in this country for various reasons. The problem isn't that we don't have enough land or good enough seed stock. Feeding people (or not) usually has to do more with local politics and who controls the land.

It's like how the entire Irish potato famine was very avoidable.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 8 months ago | (#45861659)

Feeding people (or not) usually has to do more with local politics and who controls the land.

Sometimes, but...

Sometimes it's a matter of transport. Iowa has no shortage of pork at all, but the cost of shipping it to China before it loses its freshness may sometimes be more than the Chinese feel like paying.

Sometimes it's a matter of not-so-local politics. See also farm bills, agricultural subsidies and price controls coming out of Washington DC - all done in order to keep crop prices artificially high.

Sometimes it's a question of being held back/destroyed on suspicion of disease. Happens a lot, especially with fresh meat and produce.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45861405)

Who needs to go to India for evidence of Monsanto raids on farms? We've had stories of thess actions posted on /. for years, further, they are well documented in legal proceedings, where Monsanto goons have appeared with local law enforcement dragged in as their flunkies, to seize farms where they suspect a farmer is reusing seed or is using crop seed contaminated from a neighboring GMO field. All they need is their expert witnesses to show up in a court and state that Farmer Brown has some of their IP in his field, without paying them and he's done farming this year and likely stuck with a ruinous monetary settlement.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | about 8 months ago | (#45861529)

[citation needed]

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861545)

No, that's not how it works. You're just making shit up to defame Monsanto.

If Monsanto accuses you of using their seeds outside of the bounds of their license, they will drag you to court. It's a civil matter, not a criminal matter. The police do not get involved (unless, after receipt of a court's order, you choose to disobey it).

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Insightful)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | about 8 months ago | (#45861567)

Have you actually looked into the actual court cases surrounding Monsanto?

You would be surprised. The examples that people trot out of "Farmer Brown" as you say, had the farmers lose in court as they were deliberately and knowingly taking GMO seeds.

Monsanto will in fact, pay farmers for any crops contaminated via cross pollination for farms that do not have an agreement.

The truth of the matter in agriculture is much more complex than all the IT people here on Slashdot would have you believe.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#45861621)

Quiet - does not fit political narrative.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861261)

We know this. GMO-free is a marketing term for affluent pananoid yuppies. It is not something that will ever feed mass numbers of needy people.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Interesting)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 8 months ago | (#45861421)

How much of our planet's fossil fuel resources should we continue to mine for large-scale agriculture, before we have the conversation about why there are so many starving third-worlders, and what we might do to control overpopulation?

I see this assertion time after time -- that we must feed 8, 10, 15 billions of people -- without asking the question, "Does the planet need that many people?"

GMO is a non-solution to a problem that we could much more easily prevent.

The only winner in GMO is the patent holder who collects the royalties.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861599)

Population control is a loser argument in the court of public opinion.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 8 months ago | (#45861681)

Considering the alternative involves a whole lot of death and/or overly-intrusive governmental control of one's life (e.g. China's "one child" policy)... well, good luck with that.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45861853)

I'll say to you what I say to everyone who suggests "reducing the surplus population": you first.

Somehow though it's always the "third world" that needs population control: you know, those foreigners, those threatening not-quite-people who we could do with fewer of. I get tired of seeing such BS.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45861463)

We know this. GMO-free is a marketing term for affluent pananoid yuppies. It is not something that will ever feed mass numbers of needy people.

No, it's about being open and honest about what goes into your food. We in California had such a staggering amount of BS inserted into a campaign season, regarding GMO product labeling, that consumers were completely baffled what the impact was going to be and voted with the most convincing and well backed ads. Therefore we do not have a state statute requiring the labeling of food as containing all or part GMO components.

That was pretty damn insidious by Pro-GMO Big Ag.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861523)

What is gained through product labeling when consumers don't have anywhere near the background or understanding to interpret the labels?

I'm all for people being able to make well-informed and rational decisions about what they put into their bodies, but avoiding GM foods because of perceived health risks is NOT making a well-informed and rational decision.

As it stands, I have pretty mixed feelings about GMO labeling, but I lean towards it being a bad idea. We don't need more confusing information and irrational fear.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 8 months ago | (#45861685)

What is gained through product labeling when consumers don't have anywhere near the background or understanding to interpret the labels?

I'm all for people being able to make well-informed and rational decisions about what they put into their bodies, but avoiding GM foods because of perceived health risks is NOT making a well-informed and rational decision.

Well, so far, we're not too stupid to have labels required for ingredients, for % of nutrients...

We're not too stupid to have labels required on things like fish, to know what their country of origin is....

So, what's the deal with giving us a label to know if it is GMO or not? I'd dare say, most people too stupid to study this and make an "informed decision" are likely not ever going to bother looking at the labels.

But for those that do want to know..what's the harm? When is having information about your food ever a bad thing?

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (2, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 8 months ago | (#45861807)

What is to be gained by informing consumers when they just can't really understand the issues! This is what you're saying and not even in other words- that's just what you're saying. It's disgusting. I can see why you posted AC.

It's called having faith in democracy and the ability of the polity to sort out issues. If that doesn't sound reasonable to you, then why not head off to N. Korea where the leaders think just like you do.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861647)

I agree with you that having money in politics sucks, and it's symptomatic of deep problems in our society BUT let's look at this specific issue.

What specific health issues are associated with the consumption of GM foods? None that we know of. The vast, vast majority of studies can't find anything wrong with them.

So why the fuck are we demanding an irrelevant label? The label conveys a stigma like the Surgeon General's warning on a pack of cigarettes. It's needless fearmongering that is not based on science.

There is not a single good argument for the label, although a few of my pro-GM friends *want* the label so that people can understand how deeply GM technology is embedded into our lives and realize that it causes no harm (which is similar to the argument that the scientists behind the Flavr-Savr Tomato used when trialing their product in the market - they voluntarily labeled).

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#45861279)

We throw away over half the food we produce, and we let the commodities market manipulate the prices. We don't need GMOs. You're just spreading propaganda.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (2, Informative)

andydread (758754) | about 8 months ago | (#45861361)

Yes but patenting lifeforms then suing zealously over those patented lifeforms that contaminate non-gmo farms is bad so say no to GMO until they quit patenting life.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (-1, Troll)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 8 months ago | (#45861381)

"GMOs feed over a billion people" ... and their cancers. (maybe, maybe not. We'll know for sure in 10 to 20 years, thank you america for being our guinea pigs)

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861415)

I'm seriously sick of this ignorant crap. There is absolutely no known possible mechanism for GM foods to cause cancer because they're GM. If you're going to speculate, at least look into real possible risks like those associated with glyphosate salts used in agriculture. If you're going to attack GM, focus on the real issues like intellectual property associated with staple crops.

Also, look up mutation breeding, which is how most of our non-GM foods came into existence.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861429)

...and I still can't eat them because the ADM mixed tocopherols in them give me an intense allergic reaction. General Mills & the FDA do not seem to grasp a difference between alpha tocopherol and the poison slop that mixed tocopherols can be.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861467)

What idiot modded this insightful?
The work of Dr. Borlaug and the green revolution had fuck-all to do with GMOs.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861483)

Genetically modified foods also keep the world's poorest farmers beholden to the corporations that are selling the GMOs. What a business plan, make a product that claims to end hunger that requires everyone to purchase your seed on a yearly basis.

Fuck that and fuck you.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 8 months ago | (#45861771)

Why do idiots such as yourself keep repeating this nonsense? Who, exactly, is 'beholden' to Monsanto? Farmers choose to plant GMO because, even though they have to pay mean old Monsanto, it is more profitable for them than planting non-GMO.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45861819)

Clear and obvious logic isn't going to win any contests around here.

Obviously there's a gun to the head of all farmers, worldwide.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 8 months ago | (#45861501)

Genetically modified food feeds over a billion people who would not otherwise be able to eat

A billion people the planet doesn't need, perhaps? What good to anyone are billions of starving, or semi-starving, humanoids who rely on food aid to continue living, and then breed more of the same?

Better birth control = no billion people starving without Monsanto raking in $Bns from seed patents.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861509)

Normal Borlaug is one of the greatest scientists of our times and I deeply respect him, but his research did not involve transgenics (that we otherwise know as "GMOs"). His research was mainly with hybrids which are generally not controversial.

Borlaug, being a well-educated scientist with a background in biology, was completely in favor of GMOs and lashed out at critics, but his Green Revolution can't be credited to GMOs.

With that said; there is no scientifically valid reason to oppose GMOs in their current form but let's get the facts straight.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861519)

Genetically modified food feeds over a billion people who would not otherwise be able to eat given the arable land available

Right up until we breed enough insecticide-resistant insects that they have a population explosion and eat all our crops.
Or we have a massive algae bloom that kills off our fisheries.

You want to save the starving people of the world? Tell the catholic church to fuck off, and give these people access to birth control and condoms.
Otherwise there will always be starving people in bad places because they keep breeding beyond their food supply (it's a modern human trait) no matter how much food you give them.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#45861597)

The existence of GMOs have NOT boosted production in the slightest. What GMOs do is make the plants immune to a particular herbicide. This herbicide immunity, by the way, is an immunity being acquired by other "pest" plants which were the original target of the herbicide.

In the absense of GMOs the people would still be fed. GMOs do not represent a world-saving technology. What they represent is a danger to the world's food supply not only because it comes under control of a small collection of companies, but because it reduces the varieties of plants available. In the event a disease develops to wipe out these GMOs, there may be extreme starvation and human suffering due to the continual growth of GMO use.

Please shill for Monsanto elsewhere. You're just wrong about so much.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861817)

Don't mix up GMOs in general with RR-style "how to breed the weed equivalent of MRSA" idiocy.

Re:GMOs feed over a billion people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861791)

WTF does organic have to do with GMO. In the words of Daniel Plainview "Don't be thick in front of me, AL!"

Only thing that comes to mind (0)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 8 months ago | (#45861125)

is that when I was a kid, I told my friends that my mom was so skinny she could hula hoop a cheerio.

Of course this is after telling them how fat their mothers were.

Pointless at this poiht (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#45861129)

> For its part, General Mills says, It's not about safety,' and will continue to use GMOs in other food products.

Correct. It's not about safety. It's about giving customers what they want, which is the result of scientifically illiterate scare tactics by talking heads making a career of it.

It's all one stupid cluster fuck anyway. Science keeps developing ways to make food even cheaper, and government keeps deliberately forcing the price up to help farmers.

Re:Pointless at this poiht (2)

MrBingoBoingo (3481277) | about 8 months ago | (#45861247)

Well, when the major constituent of Cheerios (oats) doesn't have a GM variety, this seems like a cheap way to give the people what they want. Even if the reason the people want it is poor.

Re:Pointless at this poiht (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861335)

The alternative is even worse. Force farmers off their land, have it bought up by agribusiness, and you encounter the same thing, except agribusiness would have a stronger grip on the economy than when local farmers had their land.

Re:Pointless at this poiht (4, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | about 8 months ago | (#45861397)

For me its a result of Monsanto patenting food staples and suing world + dog. I don't agree with a few multinationals owning patents of the world's food staples so I will do everything I can to avoid GMO products for this reason and this reason only. And I will continue to warn everyone I know against purchasing GMO products until they are no longer patented and the companies stop abusing the patents. THe End.

Re:Pointless at this poiht (5, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 8 months ago | (#45861423)

Quite right.

This is about politics rather than science. The corporate shills want to make this strictly about food safety in order to distract from the abuses of companies like Monsanto.

Any regime that doesn't allow for a farmer to save and replant his own seeds needs to be torn down, burned, and then bombed.

Re:Pointless at this poiht (4, Interesting)

morcego (260031) | about 8 months ago | (#45861557)

For me its a result of Monsanto patenting food staples and suing world + dog. I don't agree with a few multinationals owning patents of the world's food staples so I will do everything I can to avoid GMO products for this reason and this reason only. And I will continue to warn everyone I know against purchasing GMO products until they are no longer patented and the companies stop abusing the patents. THe End.

Ok, this is the first argument I've heard against GMO that I can support. And with that, I just joined the anti-GMO boat...

Re:Pointless at this poiht (1)

AlterEager (1803124) | about 8 months ago | (#45861427)

Correct. It's not about safety. It's about giving customers what they want,

So far so good...

which is the result of scientifically illiterate scare tactics by talking heads making a career of it.

And then you blow it, demonstrating that you don't know how capitalism is supposed to work.

Re:Pointless at this poiht (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 8 months ago | (#45861537)

It'a exactly the same thing as providing fluoride-free toothpaste so that Oregonians need not corrupt their vital body fluids with godless Communism.

The problem isn't GMO (4, Insightful)

krelvin (771644) | about 8 months ago | (#45861137)

It is the patents like what Monsanto is doing that are the problem. There is no health issues.

Re:The problem isn't GMO (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#45861291)

There is no health issues.

You can't say that honestly. Initial indications are of harm from glyphosate residues and retained b.t. toxin, at least in pregnant women in the latter case. The truth is we don't know the effects very well and we do know that irresponsible farmers aren't using roundup-ready processes diligently.

Unfortunately, reckless use has caused unrelated crops like golden rice to be rejected out of fear, which very definitely causes harm (not to mention boatloads of corn bound for starvation areas rejected in Zimbabwe and Zambia out of similar fear).

Re:The problem isn't GMO (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861485)

You can't say that honestly.

There are literally hundreds of studies out there and most of them are either inconclusive or show no evidence of harm. See here: http://biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/

Initial indications are of harm from glyphosate residues and retained b.t. toxin, at least in pregnant women in the latter case.

Citations needed.

The truth is we don't know the effects very well and we do know that irresponsible farmers aren't using roundup-ready processes diligently.

Actually, glyphosate is a very well-researched chemical. There are many studies on it that consider it safe for use when used properly.

With that said, farmers who violate the federal regulations on pesticide application are themselves to blame, not the pesticide producers.

Also, it needs to be pointed out that BT toxin is available as a spray (as opposed to plants that have been genetically modified to produce it) that is often used by organic farmers (it's approved by the USDA for use on USDA Certified Organic farms) and other farmers who may not be planting GM seed.

Unfortunately, reckless use has caused unrelated crops like golden rice to be rejected out of fear, which very definitely causes harm (not to mention boatloads of corn bound for starvation areas rejected in Zimbabwe and Zambia out of similar fear).

The people who are opposing golden rice are mainly misanthropic environmental extremists and other scientifically illiterate activists who come from privileged backgrounds. The blame for the sabotage of golden rice trials is squarely upon their heads, not anyone else, and it's rather shameful that you try to pin the blame on farmers.

Re:The problem isn't GMO (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 8 months ago | (#45861625)

Recent EPA regulatory actions have been to allow INCREASES in glyphosate residues in food because of proven long term safety.

From:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate [wikipedia.org]

Epidemiological studies have not found associations between long term low level exposure to glyphosate and any disease.

The EPA considers glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic and relatively low in dermal and oral acute toxicity. The EPA considered a "worst case" dietary risk model of an individual eating a lifetime of food derived entirely from glyphosate-sprayed fields with residues at their maximum levels. This model indicated that no adverse health effects would be expected under such conditions.

Primary references available in Wikipedia article.

Re:The problem isn't GMO (-1, Troll)

Idou (572394) | about 8 months ago | (#45861393)

>There is no health issues.

Interesting, have you researched this exhaustively or am I to expect the usual /. rigorous standard was used before you posted that? You do realize that people are so frail that they sometimes die from a peanut, right?

Really, the obvious solution to GMO is full disclosure. In fact, I would like full disclosure of all the foods I eat, including their full genome sequence. Once things are disclosed, then it becomes my responsibility to avoid things that may cause me harm (we can call it OSF or "Open Source Food").

Patents are also an issue, but just saying there are no potential health issues without having any clue what has been altered or who is eating it displays total ignorance to history and a poor understanding of risk management. Unless, of course, you are taking full liability for any harm that may result at some point in time. In which case, god bless you and please provide additional information about your identity so that a compensation fund can be established (or not . . . time will tell, but thanks for assuming the risk!).

Re:The problem isn't GMO (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861499)

Food disclosure is a great idea. But "GMO Inside" disclosures aren't disclosing anything meaningful. There's nothing inherently harmful about GMOs, and I can guarantee you that. Numbers? I don't need numbers. "GMO" is a meaningless label originally used by seed salesmen and now used by fear mongers. Saying that GMOs are harmful is like saying that "chemicals" are harmful--or "potentially" harmful if you want to hedge and sound balanced.

Re:The problem isn't GMO (1)

Idou (572394) | about 8 months ago | (#45861595)

>There's nothing inherently harmful about GMOs, and I can guarantee you that.
Great! Let's just see your numbers and . . .

> I don't need numbers.
Oh, I must be new here . . .

Re:The problem isn't GMO (1)

AlterEager (1803124) | about 8 months ago | (#45861459)

It is the patents like what Monsanto is doing that are the problem. There is no health issues.

There is no grammar either.

Re:The problem isn't GMO (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 8 months ago | (#45861751)

There is no grammar either.

Grammar died from eating GMO Cheerios. It wasn't pretty. The doctor thought it was "old age", but after some helpful discussions with my cousins Vito and Louigi he issued an amended death certificate.

Setting a good example for transparency at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861141)

At least somebody is taking a stand at clearly labeling foods non-gmo or gmo.

The debate on whether one is better than the other is for another time, but at least clearly label the option so the consumer can make an informed decision.

Re:Setting a good example for transparency at leas (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 8 months ago | (#45861209)

at least clearly label the option so the consumer can make an informed decision.

But then they'll make the wrong decision!!1!

The corn starch? Gimme a break! (0)

NReitzel (77941) | about 8 months ago | (#45861211)

So, General Mills is switching the cornstarch and sugar, so that they don't come from GMO'd crops. Great.

There is noi DNA, nor protein, nor anything that might be GMOed in either cornstarch or sugar. So much for the big change; it's an absolute unevent.

Heck, you'd think some other company, like Ralston for example, would switch to non-gluten cereals in their Rice Chex or Corn Chex.

I'd say that they are idiots, except that clearly they are not. They've changed the labels for the idiots that buy this stuff. Don't actual facts mean -anything- to our brain dead consumer population any more?

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (1)

laie_techie (883464) | about 8 months ago | (#45861329)

So, General Mills is switching the cornstarch and sugar, so that they don't come from GMO'd crops. Great.

There is noi DNA, nor protein, nor anything that might be GMOed in either cornstarch or sugar. So much for the big change; it's an absolute unevent.

Corn starch comes from corn. There is GM corn available (most notably Monsanto's RoundUp resistant stuff). Does Cheerios use corn syrup for its sweeteners?

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 8 months ago | (#45861445)

All corn is GM corn. The stuff we call "corn" did not evolve naturally, but by extreme pressure by human farmers. The stuff we eat cannot grow without human intervention and is anything but natural. Just because we didn't modify its genetics through a test tube doesn't make it non-modified genetically.

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861579)

All corn is GM corn.

Yes, and all dogs are GM dogs.

Wait, that's not right is it? Because "GM" has a meaning; it means that we've directly modified various genetic sequences. For example, making something resistant to a herbicide and making it sterile. We make it sterile so that it doesn't breed with other plants and pass on that resistance (and as a side effect, means the farmer has to buy a bunch of new sterile seed every single year! Yay shareholders!).

Oh whoops, seems that plants sometime spontaneously mutate and regain their ability to breed. Oh deary me, looks like sometimes they're not always sterile. Whoops. Well, no harm done, we'll just sue other farmers and hope no one notices. Sure hope that herbicide resistance doesn't create some sort of species of invasive super weed. That'd sure suck, wouldn't it?

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 8 months ago | (#45861363)

They might. I went into a large grocery store in a near by city a few weeks ago and saw gluten free bread (expected), but also yeast free bread — and it was not flat bread. I am expecting them to come up with a bread free bread soon.

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#45861369)

Most consumers don't have a scientific background. What they do have is a memory of how many 'harmless' things turned out to be anything but. For example, the trans fats in margarine. For another, cigarettes. So when consumers see a bunch of agribusinesses fighting tooth and nail to not label GMO foods, it naturally makes them wonder what they're trying to hide.

They may be wrong, but they're not idiots. They've just been lied to far too many times.

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861433)

add to this lots of drugs prescribed to kids over the decades that were supposed to be safe, but turned out to be the opposite

the latest being all the ADHD drugs

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 8 months ago | (#45861851)

So when consumers see a bunch of agribusinesses fighting tooth and nail to not label GMO foods, it naturally makes them wonder what they're trying to hide.

And when labelling something with a phrase that people are being misled into believing means "poison inside", any sane business will fight against having to bear that label. There is nothing to hide, it's protection from rampant hysteria. It's happened before. Irradiated foods were going to make people glow in the dark and fearmongers wanted them all labelled so people could be scared away from them, too.

They may be wrong, but they're not idiots.

citation required.

They've just been lied to far too many times.

That's certainly true.

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861453)

C'mon, we all know that Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spiderman. Radioactivity is scary stuff and Peter Parker is just one guy. Most of us eat GMO foods though. Mutants - all of us. I think I feel myself turning into Modified Maize Man (M^3) now. Weeds and Insects everywhere fear me.

Joking aside, I really hope that the food industry comes up with a plan for self-promotion of non-gmo foods, like General Mills is doing here. There was a push in California to force GMO labeling, I think that is the wrong approach. We already have certified organic (as dubious as that can be), its voluntary. Voluntary labeling is the way to go. Have to agree though, this is a marketing move - nothing to do with health or quality.

Re:The corn starch? Gimme a break! (2)

andydread (758754) | about 8 months ago | (#45861473)

My problem with GMOs is the patents and the patent abuse. SOrry will not support GMO until the companies such as Monsanto stop abusing patents. Also i have a problem with the superweeds that are now cropping up as a result of drenching crops with roundup. Also when patented seed contaminates non GMO crops the non-GMO farmer has to pay Monsanto for a license or get sued out of business. Its the practices of the companies that turn me against it and until they stop i will avoid and tell everyone to avoid these patent encumbered crops. NO one company should be allowed to own all corn or all soybean because their patented crap has displaced natural crops.

Why are they doing it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861243)

A. For it's part, it's not about safety - so, what is it about? A publicity stunt?

B. 'We were able to do this with original Cheerios because the main ingredients are oats,' says Mike Siemienas, noting that there are no genetically modified oats
So, if there were GM oats, then they wouldn't be able to do it at all? Mike Siemienas is an idiot.

Re:Why are they doing it? (1)

laie_techie (883464) | about 8 months ago | (#45861353)

A. For it's part, it's not about safety - so, what is it about? A publicity stunt?

It's about giving the consumer what they want. If using non-genetically-modified corn for their cornstarch and corn syrup doesn't cost (much) more and improves the company's image, then go for it.

Once again the gut beats the mind (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 8 months ago | (#45861267)

Sometimes I wish I had intestines for brains, so I wouldn't be annoyed by the stupidity of the rest of the world.

It would also be cool to have an ass hole on my forehead.

Re:Once again the gut beats the mind (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#45861443)

It would also be cool to have an ass hole on my forehead.

. . . Google can help you out with that . . .

TPP will make it illegal (5, Informative)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 8 months ago | (#45861269)

The TPP will make it illegal to label your food GMO free and no, it won't matter what your nation's legislature had to say on the topic or would like to say later. The TPP will supercede the laws of you nation's legislature:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/obama-trans-pacific-partnership_n_4414891.html [huffingtonpost.com]

http://www.nationofchange.org/trans-pacific-partnership-and-monsanto-1372074730 [nationofchange.org]

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/stop_tpp_tafta_monsanto_protection_act_on_steroids/ [fooddemocracynow.org]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-r-shaffer/tobacco-symbol-of-corrupt_b_4439416.html [huffingtonpost.com]

http://www.naturalnews.com/041965_tpp_gmo_labeling_monsanto.html# [naturalnews.com]

Re:TPP will make it illegal (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 8 months ago | (#45861461)

Then there will be a boom in consumption of organic products. They can't forbid organic labels, it's too big of an industry already.

Re:TPP will make it illegal (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45861475)

The TPP will supercede the laws of you nation's legislature:

No, it won't.

I made the mistake of reading a few of those links, and it's all crazy speculation and blatant misinformation to sell ad-space on sites that sell wheat germ and homeopathy in their spare time.

Re:TPP will make it illegal (4, Informative)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 8 months ago | (#45861747)

Yeah you're wrong. It will ban GMO labeling , country of origin labeling and many other of the same types of consumer information that, people think is important to them (which I actually don't except that other people do want these things and they have the right to know )

Letter form Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, to the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk:

from: http://delauro.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=406:-delauro-food-safety-critical-issue-in-upcoming-trade-talks&catid=7:2011-press-releases&Itemid=23 [house.gov]

First, past FTAs incorporate the WTOâ(TM)s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade rules, which are deeply problematic. These rules set ceilings on signatory countriesâ(TM) domestic food safety standards. As a result, WTO panels have ruled against the U.S. meat country-of-origin labeling requirements and voluntary dolphin-safe tuna labels in challenges brought by other WTO countries. We must learn from the record of WTO implementation and modify the food safety-related rules of U.S. trade pacts to best protect the public health, starting with a TPP FTA.

The FDA has also engaged in extensive harmonization of food safety standards, as required by the WTO SPS rules and our past FTAs. If a TPP FTA is to include food safety harmonization, then it must ensure existing U.S. standards are not weakened. I believe this should include requiring that harmonization may only be conducted on the basis of raising standards toward the best standards of any signatory country and that, with respect to the United States, such international-standard setting should provide the public an opportunity to comment while maintaining an open and transparent process.

In addition, the past FTA model includes the establishment of new SPS committees to speed up implementation of mechanisms to facilitate increased trade volumes, including âoeequivalenceâ determinations. The equivalence rule requires the United States to permit imports of meat, poultry and now possibly seafood products that do not necessarily meet U.S. food safety standards. I firmly believe that all food sold to American consumers must be required to meet U.S. safety standards, and that a TPP FTA should not include equivalence rules as the basis for the United States accepting food imports.

Finally, past FTAs allow for private enforcement of extensive foreign investor rights. Under these rules, foreign food corporations operating within the United States are empowered to demand compensation from the U.S. government in foreign tribunals established under the United Nations and World Bank if U.S. regulatory actions undermine their expected future profits. Even when the United States successfully defends against such attacks, such as in the NAFTA investor-state case brought by the Canadian Cattlemen for Fair Trade over the U.S. ban on imports of live Canadian cattle after the discovery of a case of mad cow disease in Canada, the initial filing of the challenge has a chilling effect on policymaking and the U.S. government must spend millions on a legal defense. Accordingly, I believe a TPP FTA must not include investor-state rules that would allow corporations to weaken U.S. food safety in foreign tribunals thereby unnecessarily placing American consumers at risk.

The food safety issues raised by the TPP FTA negotiations are expansive and in many instances already controversial. Failure to deal with these issues during the negotiations will only create more opposition to a prospective agreement. I therefore urge you to act in the interest of public health and maintain the United Statesâ(TM) strong leadership on food safety by making the health of Americans our top priority in this weekâ(TM)s negotiations in Chicago and beyond.

But I understand why you are confused. The TPP is so secret that the only document we have is what was leaked on Wikileaks. Congresspeople who want to read it have to schedule an appointment, enter a room without an aide, and can bring no writing implement or paper to take notes. There's more:

from:

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/4/a_corporate_trojan_horse_obama_pushes [democracynow.org]

JUAN GONZÃLEZ: Well, Lori, about that secrecy, even members of Congress have been severely limited in what they can learn, and that's only after the revelations about the total secrecy that this whole process began with. Could you talk about what members of Congress are allowed to know and how?

LORI WALLACH: Well, what's really important for people to know - and this gets to what you started out with about Fast Track. Congress has exclusive constitutional authority over trade. It's kind of like the Boston Tea Party hangover. After having a king just impose tariffs, in that case on tea, the founders said, "We need to put all things about trade, international commerce, in the hands of Congress, the most diffuse part of the elected representation, not the executive, the king." So Congress has all this authority. They're supposed to be exclusively in control. But until this June, they were not even allowed to see the draft text.

And it was only after a big, great fuss was kicked up by a lot of members - 150 of them wrote last year - that finally members of Congress, upon request for the particular chapter, can have a government administration official bring them a chapter. Their staff is thrown out of the room. They can't take detailed notes. They're not supposed to talk about what they saw. And they can, without staff to help them figure out what the technical language is, look at a chapter. This is in contrast to, say, even what the Bush administration did. The last time we had one of these mega-NAFTA expansion attempts was the Free Trade Area of the Americas. And in that instance, in 2001, that whole draft text was released to the public by the U.S. government on the official government websites. So, this is extraordinary secrecy, and members of Congress aren't supposed to tell anyone what they've read. So, for instance, you know, Alan Grayson, who was one of the guys who helped to get the text released, Alan Grayson said, "I can tell you it's very bad for the future of America. I just can't tell you why." That's obscene.

This would rewrite wide swaths of our laws. And again, it's mainly not about trade. So, if we have this agreement in effect, for instance, it would be a big push for fracking. Now you would say, "Why fracking?" Because it doesn't allow us to have bans on liquid natural gas exports. Or, if this were in effect, we couldn't ensure the safety of the food we feed our families. We have to import, for instance, fish and shrimp that we know, from the limited inspection that's done, is extremely dangerous from certain kinds of growing ponds that are contaminated, etc., in some of the TPP countries. Or, for instance, some of the financial reforms where the banksters were finally regulated would be rolled back. All of this, and it would be privately enforceable by certain foreign corporations.

Re:TPP will make it illegal (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 8 months ago | (#45861783)

Just remember this- I'm here all night (another Friday night on /. loser!!) , so the more you talk, the more you give me a chance to rebut and further explore this topic.

Stop the TPP- contact your congressperson this weekedn!

https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp [eff.org]

TPP > PIPA + SOPA

Hmmm holy oats. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861287)

Which reminds me. I found a message in a bottle. It said it was from a time traveler and that he was stuck in the past, a past dated as 1601. I am the skeptical type being a slashdot community participant, but it looks legit. He was asking I send 1000$ to his twin brother living in Lisbon but I don't have that so I was wondering if any community member knows a way I can help this time traveller stuck in 1601?

Re:Hmmm holy oats. (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 8 months ago | (#45861371)

Start a Kickstarter fund, with the Top Backer prize being a free trip back to 1601 to rescue the time traveler

Glad to hear it - Cheerios now on my shopping list (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#45861337)

The consumer is always right, no matter what those who think they are our Lords and Masters say.

Here it comes... (0, Troll)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 8 months ago | (#45861345)

Cue the Monsanto shills in 3...2...

Re:Here it comes... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861815)

How big do you have to be before you get to have shills?

I mean Whole Foods profit rose 20% [bloomberg.com] in Q2 of 2013, and Hain Celestial, the owner of Earth's Best Organic, boasted a 21% [hain-celestial.com] increase in net sales in Q1 of 2013. I have no idea what Michael Pollan made in 2013, but I doubt it would be a tenth as much if he wasn't a big name in the (insert preferred adjective)-foods circle, selling books to concerned eaters, and getting appearance fees from talking on shows and at events.

Does Monsanto have some patent on having shills, or are we willfully overlooking the fact that there's plenty of people who would rake in the cash by overblowing concern with respect to "natural" and "organic" foods?

Re:Here it comes... (1, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#45861829)

Cue the organic food fanatics for the same countdown.

Both sides of the argument are full of hyperbole and bullshit. As per usual, the truth lies between.

Almost entirely marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861439)

Cherios are mostly oats, which are not GMO. I was wondering about that a while ago and found out that oats aren't GMO because apparently it's difficult to modify them.

According to other sources I read, switching to non-GMO for other ingredients is not terribly difficult.

That said, it's good to see one corporation slugging it out with others over this. Once the dominoes tumble, it might be difficult for foods containing GMOs to find space on the shelf simply because consumers will expect it to say "non GMO".

It would have been better not to have experimented on people and the environment in the first place. Slowing the experiment down and ultimately stopping it is the next best thing. Until they can model entire ecosystems reliably, it isn't science. There are no falsifiable results--just global guinea pigging. So far we've been lucky, unless you're a Mexican corn farmer where GMOs have already polinated on the wind, reduced biodiversity and in some cases ruined your livelihood.

Feeling groovy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861471)

Ancient (obviously) ad for Cheerios [youtube.com] . Not sure if Paul Simon got any royalties from it.

Green movement hypocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861527)

This is NOT a post supporting Monstroso (Deliberate mispelling) because I know their business practices are godawful and that company needs to die in a fire. However this who anti GMO movement is exactly what is wrong with the Green movement. They scream and yell about the science of climate change (rightly too, so also lets get that out of the way) then go on a completely bullshit scare campaign against fucking GMO's when the science is pretty clear THEY ARE NOT HARMFUL and have considerable benefits. And also fucking farmers have been genetically modding crops since the dawn of time with good old fashioned selection - the crops we have are quite a deal removed from the natural varietys to the point some are now different species and can not interbreed with the naturally occuring ancestors. Sure, not in a lab but that's how they get the best yields.

The Green movement has to fucking get it into their fuckign heads they can not cry SCIENCE in one moment and then ignore science in the next. That's how you get the Green movement as part of the anti vaxxer bullshit (and they quite clearly are) and also doing things like stopping flouide in water supplies - another anti-science knee jerk going against every single known benefit of water treatment.

So to the Greens - stop it. Stop being a bunch of goddamn hypocritical shit. Stop crying SCIENCE and then when the science goes against you, put your fingers in ears and cry LALALALALA CANT HEAR YOU. Fuck you, science says climate change is real, well science also says GMO's arent this monster you make them out to be.

Huh. No wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45861627)

Cheerios would give me the foamies. Now I know why, just like star corn.

Free Market Works (2)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 8 months ago | (#45861665)

Bravo General Mills and thank you for making my favorite breakfast cereal without GMOs. The market place works. Consumer demand is a far better way to set things than regulations. All we're asking for as consumers is to know what's there so we can make decisions. It worked. Bravo to the free market and capitalism.

Question. Is ANYONE eating plants that aren't GMO? (0)

Chas (5144) | about 8 months ago | (#45861699)

Seriously. The whole science of agriculture has rather drastically modified various food plants over the last few hundred years. Most of the stuff you eat, even if it hasn't been gene-spliced in a lab, is SIGNIFICANTLY different from the same plants your ancestors were eating 2-300 years ago.

What most of these no-GMO guys are flipping over is that it's now done by scientists in a controlled lab environment in weeks/months/years, rather than by some agricultural experimenter over the course of his entire life.

What the rest of them are up in arms about is the fact that these companies have patented these plants and effectively seek to hold the entirety of agribusiness hostage. Which, actually is a fair assessment, as physical control over plant reproductive cycles isn't exactly as easy to control in the real world as it is in a lab.

the ultimate sign of affluence. (4, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 8 months ago | (#45861703)

for almost all of human history, we all lived on the edge of starvation...one bad crop or inablilty to hunt due to injury or migration, and we were starved...to death.

read malthus.

now, we have so much food we attack those who supply it for us....the irony is unreal.

i don't know if GMO food is "dangerous" or not....i don't think anyone here really does....but i do know one thing.

only a population with WAY more food then it could possibly dream of needing could ever have this debate.

Cretinocracy (0)

furbyhater (969847) | about 8 months ago | (#45861763)

So they were obligated to switch from oats to corn starch and sugar in order to free themselves of GMOs?
No non-GMO oats possible!! 1!11 WTF?
This WTF piece of news really lacks respect to its readers!

orly?

/drnk

Re:Cretinocracy (0)

furbyhater (969847) | about 8 months ago | (#45861805)

Sorry, was too drnk, misunderstood the RTFA, please ignore.

Good On You, GM! (2)

organgtool (966989) | about 8 months ago | (#45861775)

Since this is mostly blowback from the assholes at Monsanto, I fully support removing the GMO ingredients. However, when it comes to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, GM really needs to stop using that whole wheat shit or at least take the word "Crunch" out of the title.
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