Like many, we were really pleased to hear the news earlier this year that General Mills was going GMO-free with Cheerios – one of its top brands. The difference-maker? Consumer pressure, especially through social media – people just like us voicing their opposition to genetically engineered food, demanding better.
Of course, it’s only original Cheerios that are now GMO-free. Not Honey Nut. Not Multigrain. Not Apple Cinnamon or Frosted or Banana Nut or Chocolate or Fruit or any of the rest.
In fact, General Mills calls the task of making all varieties of Cheerios GMO-free “difficult, if not impossible.”
They also admit that making original Cheerios GMO-free was a relatively simple change. After all, the product is made mostly from oats, and there are no GMO oats. Only lesser ingredients such as sugar and cornstarch needed to be replaced.
So it was an easy win for General Mills that may help prop up profits that have sagged of late, we have to agree with Dr. Mercola that it’s still “a major step in the right direction” and sends a powerful message. Even symbolic victories matter when it comes to inspiring actions for a healthier, more humane and sustainable world.
Consider the global mercury treaty that was finally accepted last year and has since been ratified by the US. Although the treaty has some serious shortcomings – as DAMS director Leo Cashman noted in the commentary he graciously allowed us to share – it’s another step in the right direction. Such massive change does not – because it cannot – happen overnight. Real, lasting, systemic change takes time. And effort. And care.
Truth be told, though, we feel that it doesn’t matter all that much what the motives are. So General Mills wanted to improve its image and restore profits? Fine. They still got rid of some GMO ingredients. With continued pressure, they may remove more. We’ve already seen this with trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Although both can still easily be found in sometimes startling quantities in all manner of products, consumer backlash has driven many companies to change formulations.
This is why it’s so important to speak out and be active in the fight for quality food. Together, we are the ones to make change happen.
And with amalgam, too: If dentists stop using the stuff because the law says to or because it might make them richer or because more patients demand it, does it really matter? They’ve still gone mercury-free, and that’s critical. (Next, of course, comes being mercury–safe!) Each dentist who quits placing this neurotoxic element into people’s teeth, mere inches from their brain, moves us a little bit closer to a healthier populace and environment. It’s a victory.
Welcome to a cleaner, safer and saner form of dentistry!