Annie’s Sells Out to General Mills: Watch Out for GMOs in this Popular ‘Natural’ Brand
Annie’s brand is selling out to the food manufacturing giant, General Mills, who has been known to use GMO rice, corn, soy as well as high fructose corn syrup in most of their products. Annie’s boxes of kid-friendly pasta even says ‘made with organic pasta’ on the top, but that likely won’t be the case now.
Annie’s has sold out to the GMO pusher, General Mills (GM), for a whopping $820 million.
Just in case you weren’t aware, General Mills is part of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), the group of companies and biotech interests which have donated millions to defeat GMO labeling. GM contributed $1,135,300 (as of 2012) into anti-GMO-labeling propaganda in California all by themselves to defeat Prop 37 which would have given state residents a chance to know what was being put in their food. The company also help shoot down the GMO labeling bill in Washington.
GM tried to win over non-GMO activists by taking GMOs out of their regular Cheerios (while leaving them in other versions), but this marketing act lost steam once CEO Ken Powell has proclaimed they will not be offering anymore GMO-free products in the future. They didn’t really ‘remove’ GMOs from Cheerios anyhow, since the original Cheerios in the yellow box was always made from whole grain oats. There are no GM oats.
GM is clearly more interested in supporting the GMO agenda and protecting their profits than making sure healthful foods are available to the public.
In a statement from the company on their decision to publicize the absence of GMOs in Cheerios, they said:
“But it’s not about safety. Biotech seeds, also known as genetically modified seeds, have been approved by global food safety agencies and widely used by farmers in global food crops for almost 20 years.
And it was never about pressure. In fact, General Mills’ position on GMOs hasn’t changed.”
Meanwhile, Annie’s says that their stance on GMOs won’t change, even while under the umbrella of General Mills. Annie’s has been a vocal proponent of requiring labels on foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, while General Mills fights GMO labeling efforts.
“There is no change in Annie’s stance on GMOs,” Keely Fadrhonc, Annie’s senior marketing communications manager, said in an e-mail. “We are committed to transparency around the topic — we know that General Mills understands our commitment and importance of our position on this issue to preserve the authenticity of this brand.”
In response to the decision, Annie’s CEO, John Foraker had this to say:
“We are excited about this strategic combination, which will enable Annie’s to expand the reach and breadth of our high quality, great tasting organic and natural products, provide new opportunities for our employees, realize greater efficiencies in our operations, and maximize value for our stockholders. Powerful consumer shifts toward products with simple, organic and natural ingredients from companies that share consumers’ core values show no signs of letting up. Partnering with a company of General Mills’ scale and resources will strengthen our position at the forefront of this trend, enabling us to more rapidly and efficiently expand into new channels and product lines in a rapidly evolving industry environment.”
Do you think such a partnership could work?
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.