(NaturalNews) The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has called for a boycott of the Kellogg Company, also known as Kellogg's, after the company refused to sign a pledge refusing to use genetically modified sugar in its cereal products.
Sugar from genetically modified sugar beets hit the U.S. market for the first time this year, making the beets the first genetically engineered crop to enter the U.S. food stream since the widespread introduction of modified corn and soy in the 1990s. The sugar has been modified by the Monsanto Corporation to be resistant to the company's signature herbicide, Roundup.
"These GE sugar beets do not provide any environmental, nutritional or food quality benefits whatsoever," the OCA said. "They are created by Monsanto to withstand massive doses of herbicides and keep farmers on a never ending pesticide treadmill that is bad news for rural communities, the environment and consumers. The bottom line is that there are numerous options to GE sugar beets."
More than 73 food producers and retailers have signed a pledge not to use genetically modified sugar in their products. When asked by the OCA to make such a pledge, however, Kellogg's said it had no intention of doing so. While the company will make sure not to use modified sugar in any of its European products -- the European Union has not approved sugar from the beets for human consumption -- Kellogg's insists that U.S. consumers do not care if their food is genetically modified.
"However, poll after poll have demonstrated that Americans want GE foods labeled and restricted," the OCA said.
The OCA said that it decided to launch a Kellogg's boycott only after the company refused to heed more than 15,000 letters asking the company not to use the modified beet sugar. In addition, the company clearly has the logistical ability to avoid genetically modified sugar, since it is already doing so for its European products.