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Is Your All-Natural Cereal Made From GMO Corn?

girl unhappy with GMO cereal

Monsanto GMO crops have successfully invaded your “all natural” and organic breakfast cereal. Some of the most popular organic cereals have reportedly been infused with GMO corn and other genetically modified particles.

According to Center for Food Safety statistics, up to 85 percent of the corn grown in America has been genetically modified. If those figures are accurate, then the vast majority of corn-based foods also contain genetically engineered ingredients. It is nearly impossible to go to the local grocery store and know if you are putting GMO cereal (or any other product) into your cart – and that is why GMO laws are necessary.

Many of the most popular cereals likely contain GMO corn and are marketed explicitly to children. There are no known human studies on GMO corn consumption, so the possible effects of a lifetime of eating the genetically modified crop are unknown. French scientists who conducted such studies on rats reportedly linked premature death and cancer to GMO corn consumption. A photo from the study shows large cancer tumors growing on the lab rats. Results from the study reportedly indicate that 70 percent of female rats showed substantial damage to their kidneys, liver, and other organs and died prematurely.

Last year the all-natural food favorite Kashi (owned by Kellogg) experienced massive GMO backlash on social networks for reportedly straying from their healthy product initiative. Green Grocer, a New England supermarket, removed all Kashi products from the shelves and posted this notice on the window:

“You might be wondering where your favorite Kashi cereals have gone. It has recently come to our attention that 100 percent of the soy used in Kashi products is genetically modified, and that when the USDA tested the grains used, there were found to be pesticides that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors.”

Once the GMO soy story and photo of the sign went viral, Kashi began working with the Non-GMO Project to get their all-natural products certified and stop the grassroots boycott of their products. Although seven of their products achieved GMO-free certification rather quickly, customers who were angry about the company using GMO ingredients in the first place never returned. The list of Kashi products which are known to be GMO-free include: 7 Whole Grain Puffs, Simply Maize, 7 Whole Grain Flakes, Cinnamon Harvest, Autumn Wheat, Island Vanilla, 7 Whole Grain Pilaf, and Island Vanilla.

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A “Natural Cereals That Aren’t” report by Men’s Health lifted the veil off many popular cereals that boasted (or once promoted) an organic or all-natural concept. Kashi GoLean was among the list of cereals which allegedly include GMO material. The study cites a Cornucopia Institute test that reportedly concluded that all of the soy in Kashi GoLean exhibited GMO material. The non-organic substance was not caused by accidental contamination but deliberate use, according to researchers. Nature’s Path Organic Optimum Blueberry Cinnamon was noted as a true organic and all natural alternative to the popular Kashi cereal.

Kashi GMONutritious Living Hi-Lo was also noted on the list of seemingly natural yet GMO-infused cereals. The same study reportedly found that 85 percent of the soy in the cereal had been genetically modified. According to the report, the soy had also been exposed to “heavy sprayings” of Monsanto Roundup Ready weed killer. Due to the fact that both soy and corn crops are becoming resistant to popular pesticides, like Roundup Ready, farmers are reportedly using even heavier spraying to thwart weeds. As previously noted in an Off The Grid News article, permaculture expert Rick Austin believes that weeds play an important role in the ecosystem and should not be sprayed, or even pulled from the garden. Weeds attract predator insects which eat smaller bugs which feast upon crops of all varieties. Ambrosial Granola Venetian Vineyard was noted as the organic alternative for Nutritious Living Hi-Lo cereal. The Ambrosial cereal was named the Healthiest Cereal of the year by Prevention magazine in 2011.

A total of 56 percent of the corn content in Kix has been genetically modified. Envirokids Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal was noted as an organic alternative to Kix. Barbara’s Bakery Puffins also made the list of less than natural cereals because the company has reportedly decreased the number of USDA certified ingredients, opting instead for uncertified products which can be noted simply as “natural.” A total of 55 percent of the corn now used in the Puffins cereal has been genetically modified. Nature’s Path Organic Corn Puffs was listed as the organic alternative to the Barbara’s Bakery cereal.

Peace Cereals also made the GMO cereal list. Until 2008, all company cereal products were labeled either “made with organic ingredients” or had been certified organic. To be certified organic, at least 70 percent of the ingredients must be organic. I found it surprising that the entire product did not need to contain only organic materials on order to garner certification. Peace Cereals, which contain strawberries, could reportedly include Captan, a pesticide believed to be carcinogenic. Captan was reportedly detected in 55 percent of the strawberries tested during the study. Nature’s Path Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch was the suggested organic alternative to strawberry-containing Peace Cereal.

A total of 30 percent of the corn in Mother’s Bumpers has been genetically modified. A Reproductive Toxicology journal report stated that pesticides often used in GMO corn can survive in the human digestives tracts and move into the bloodstream. The Canadian report also notes that in pregnant women, the presence of GMO corn has even shown up in developing babies. Mother’s brand is owned by PepsiCo. One of the company’s processing plants reportedly emits 19,000 pounds of the fumigant and greenhouse gas sulfuryl fluoride each year. The reportedly toxic gas is used after the harvest to kill pests which are often found in non-organic wheat, corn, rice, almond, barley, peanuts, rice, and raisins. Food items can be distributed just 24 hours after the gassing process has concluded. Cascadian Farms Honey Nut Os was noted as the organic alternative for Mother’s Bumpers.

List of other popular cereals that most likely contain GMO corn

  • Cocoa Puffs
  • Corn Chex
  • Frosted Flakes
  • Honey Graham Ohs
  • Honey Nut Chex
  • Kashi Heart to Heart
  • Kellogg’s POPS
  • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • Kraft’s Back To Nature
  • Post’s Grape Nuts
  • Post’s Natural Advantage
  • Kellogg’s Low-Fat Granola
  • Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter

Other organic alternative cereals:

  • Laughing Giraffe Granola Cereal
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Raisin Bran
  • Lydia’s Organics Grainless Apple Cereal
  • 365 Everyday Value brand
  • Arrowhead Mills brand
  • Bakery On Main brand
  • Chappequa Crunch Granola brand
  • Chez Marie brand
  • Chiarezza! brand
  • Country Choice Organic brand
  • Crofter’s Organic brand
  • Earth’s Best brand
  • Eden brand
  • Engine 2 Plain Strong brand
  • Enjoy Life brand
  • EnviroKidz Organic brand
  • Farm to Table brand
  • Field Day Enjoy the Harvest brand
  • Hodgson Mill brand

Note: The GMO food and GMO-free products list provided in this article was accurate to the best of our ability at the time of publication.

The Non-GMO Project constantly updates their product listings. There are many wonderful products on the list, but unfortunately 98 percent of them are not sold at a grocery store within a 40-mile radius of my rural home. Luckily, buying from local organic and farmers’ markets are also a viable option for putting only natural food on the dinner table.


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