Cheerios goes GMO-free

General Mills has announced it will stop using genetically engineered ingredients in Cheerios brand cereal, according to USA Today.

The move comes amid mounting pressure from food safety and consumer activists, who have called for clear labels on all food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including corn, soy, canola and sugar.

USA Today’s Bruce Horowitz notes that the oats in Cheerios have never contained any GMOs. But General Mills did change its sourcing for other ingredients and now uses non-GMO pure cane sugar instead of beet sugar, according to the newspaper.

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“The move is being hailed by anti-GMO activist groups as a major victory,” writes Horowitz. “It comes at a time activists have been increasingly pressuring American food makers to remove GMOs from all foods — or, at the very least, label all foods that do contain GMOs.”

The agriculture and biotechnology industries claim that GMO ingredients, used for years in the United States, are perfectly safe and vital to the future global food supply.

Business groups have defeated efforts to enact state laws requiring mandatory labels for GMO products, and are preparing federal legislation that would create a voluntary labeling system.

Meanwhile, a mandatory labeling bill is currently pending in both chambers of Congress.

Check out the full USA Today story here.