General Mills

General Mills cuts sugar content in children's cereals but still uses GMOs

Monday, December 13, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

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(NaturalNews) Breakfast cereal giant General Mills recently announced plans to slightly cut the sugar content in its children's cereals in accordance with overall pressures on major food producers to fight childhood obesity and its related diseases by making healthier products. However the company continues to use genetically-modified (GM) ingredients in its cereal products, as well as corn syrup, artificial flavors, and artificial colorings -- all of which wreak havoc on health.

Jeff Harmening, president of General Mills' Big G cereal division, told Reuters Health in an interview that as of December 31, 2010, all General Mills cereals marketed to children under 12 will contain ten grams of sugar or less per serving, a one-gram drop from the 11 grams per serving they currently contain. And although the company hopes to keep lowering the overall sugar content over time, it says the reductions must take place incrementally in order to keep customers from noticing the changes and switching to other brands.

Now, this may sound like a worthy effort on behalf of General Mills, but upon closer look, it becomes obvious that the company's cereals are still loaded with so much other garbage that buying even the reduced-sugar varieties will still threaten your health and the health of your children.

General Mills uses highly-refined sugars and GMOs

The types of sugars used in General Mills cereals are highly processed and represent a significant health threat, even at reduced levels. These sugars include refined white sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, and maltodextrin, all of which likely come from GM sources. Most refined white sugar now used in U.S. food products comes from sugar beets, 95 percent of which are now GM. And corn syrup, dextrose, and maltodextrin, all come from corn, for which the vast majority is also GM.

Does General Mills have any plans to remove these GMOs from its food products? Hardly. Back in 2000, General Mills shareholders nearly unanimously rejected a proposal petitioning the company to avoid using GMOs in its products until they were proven safe. Not only did the company reject the proposal and decide to use GMOs anyway, but it even rejected GMO labeling proposals that would have given consumers the information they need to make informed food-buying decisions for their children (

Research into the effects of GMOs has linked their consumption to sterility, organ damage, birth defects, disruption of healthy intestinal flora, allergies, cancer, and even genetic changes in human DNA ( And these are just the tip of the iceberg, as nobody truly knows the long-term consequences of consuming these "Frankenfoods".

General Mills uses artificial food colorings and additives linked to neurological disorders, ADHD, and cancer

Many General Mills cereals are loaded with artificial colors like yellow #5, red #40, and blue #1. These petroleum-based coloring chemicals have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervous system disorders, and even cancer (

The cereals also contain various artificial flavors and food preservatives like butylhydroxytoluene (BHT), a synthetic chemical preservative linked to allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer (

General Mills cereals generally contain very little nutritional value

To be fair, General Mills was one of the first companies to adopt whole grains, switching its entire cereal line to whole grain ingredients back in 2005 ( But other than that, practically every other ingredient is some sort of processed or GMO additive that does nothing to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to maintain strength and health. Even the added vitamins and minerals are largely synthetic, so the body gets very little benefit from them.

This is not to say that the other mainstream cereal brands are any better. Most of them use the same ingredients. But the point is, most mainstream breakfast cereals -- especially those marketed to children -- contain very unhealthy ingredients, are very highly processed, and provide very little nutritional benefits. In conclusion, General Mills' efforts to make small changes in sugar content are really more of a marketing ploy than an actual concern over improving the nutritional value of its cereals.

If General Mills was really concerned about curbing obesity and improving childhood nutrition, it would immediately remove all GMO ingredients from its cereals. It would also cut out the artificial colors, flavors, additives, and preservatives. It would replace the refined sugar with unprocessed sugar from organic sources, and in significantly lower amounts than those currently used. And it might even integrate some truly healthful superfood ingredients as well.

So before you run out and buy some General Mills cereal for its reduced sugar content thinking that it will be healthier for your children, you might want to think twice about the myriad of other poisons lurking in every box.

Sources for this story include:

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