Five years ago I wrote an article about breakfast cereals. At that time I was concerned that many of the cereals marketed to children were loaded with sugar. An investigation of mine at a food market, found the ingredient Trisodium Phosphate, a heavy duty industrial cleaner, listed on a box of Cocoa Puffs. A General Mills representative told me that it was used as a flavor enhancer. The other concern was that many of the cereals contained genetically modified organisms, GMOs which were not labeled. And what organization provided the research material for article? It wasn’t the FDA, which receives our tax dollars and is supposed to be protecting our food supply, it was a shopper’s guide from GREENPEACE, How to avoid Genetically Engineered Foods.
Another non-governmental organization, The Cornicopia Institute has just published an Organic Cereal Scorecard and a lengthy report titled “Cereal Crimes! How “Natural” claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label – A Look Down the Cereal and Granola Aisle.” The report points out that many cereal companies have concocted a new scam on their consumers, by promoting their products as “Natural” to imply that they are healthy and equivalent to organic. There is no legal definition for the word “Natural” and these products may include numerous pesticide residues and also be genetically engineered. Each company’s definition of “Natural” may differ.
A number of companies, including Barbara’s Bakery, Health Valley Co. Inc. and Kashi, had enrolled in The Non-GMO Project, committing themselves to removing GE ingredients, but 5 years latter the Cornucopia Reports states that Kashi (Kellogs) cereals contain high levels of GMOs in their key ingredients and Barbara’s Bakery Puffins cereal was found to contain more than 50% GE corn. Mother’s brand (Pepsico) also contains high levels of GMOs. Shockingly, Whole Food’s 365 brand Corn Flakes contained more than 50% of GE corn. An employee of Whole Foods told me that they were in the process of obtaining an organic supplier for their corn flakes.
Cornucopia gives its top scoring to Nature’s Path, whose products are all certified organic. All the top rated products are produced by Independent companies. The essence of their report is that many of the cereals manufactures have focused on their so called “Natural” cereals, (which can include almost anything of their choosing) in an effort to convince the consumer that they are equivalent and cheaper than certified organic. The report also mentioned that some of the organic cereals are cheaper that those labeled “Natural”. So don’t be fooled, to be safe look for the certified organic label.1
Cereal Crimes; cornucopia.org/2011/10/natural-vs-organic-/cereal