Part of GMO Free USA’s mission is to foster consumer rejection of GMOs until they are proven safe. Since we began the Kellogg’s boycott campaign in 2012, the scientific evidence supporting health and environmental harm from GMOs, Roundup herbicide and other related agrichemicals, continues to grow.
The agricultural methods used to grow GMO crops are chemically intensive. Glyphosate herbicide is a probable human carcinogen. Neonicotinoid insecticides, used to coat most GMO seeds, are neurotoxic and have been linked to mass insect declines, bee colony collapse, and harms to songbird populations. As nature fights back — weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate and insect pests have developed resistance to the insecticidal toxins engineered into the GMO crops — increasing amounts of herbicides and insecticides are used on the crops to compensate. These poisons end up in our food, our soil, our water and our air.
Because GMOs are so prevalent in our food supply and it is difficult to rally the nation to boycott all GMO foods, we chose to strategically target Kellogg’s for our first boycott campaign. As it has happened in other countries, when one Big Food company is forced to remove GMOs, their competitors are at a disadvantage and soon follow.
Not long after our boycott campaign began, the Kellogg’s sales began to decline and continue to do so. We chose Kellogg’s as our first boycott for many reasons:
Kellogg’s has been an American icon since 1906.
Kellogg’s heavily markets to children and presents itself with a wholesome family image. According to the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, marketing of cereals to children has increased significantly over the years. RCFPO’s first study found that the least healthy breakfast cereals are those most frequently and aggressively marketed directly to children as young as age two. Kellogg’s is one of two companies that led in child-targeted marketing, in spite of their participation in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), the food industry’s self-regulatory program.
While all people – children, teens, and adults – should be concerned with their health, children are most vulnerable because their bodies are still developing. Increasing scientific evidence suggests that long term consumption of GMOs is harmful and that the escalated use of toxic synthetic pesticides in GMO agriculture is compounding the problem.
Kellogg’s makes this statement on their website:
“Because grains are at the heart of our breakfast foods, we seek the very best grains, and we believe that the best grains are those that are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced.”
But the GMO ingredients the company uses are grown within chemically intensive agricultural systems that require heavy use of toxic herbicides and insecticides, that deplete the soil, harm earthworms and other beneficial non-target organisms, and put Monarch butterflies, bees and other species in jeopardy.
The GMO ingredients that the corporation uses today are not what they used prior to 1996 in the United States. Kellogg’s currently sells the same products abroad, in countries that require the labeling of genetically engineered foods, but without using genetically engineered ingredients. Americans deserve the same non-GMO products.
Kellogg’s unethical corporate behavior is a cause for concern. Kellogg’s actively fought against food transparency and contributed nearly $2 million to propaganda campaigns to defeat citizens’ ballot initiatives for mandatory GMO labeling in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Their participation in Washington State was particularly appalling, having channeled funds through a money laundering scheme concocted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (now rebranded as the Consumer Brands Association) which was determined to be illegal by Washington’s Attorney General. Furthermore, Kellogg’s spent over $3.6 million lobbying our federal government in 2013 and 2014 to fight mandatory GMO labeling, something that over 90% of all Americans want.
In the United States, where there is no legal requirement to label genetically engineered foods and no definition of an allowable tolerance level of contamination, independent verification is of the utmost importance. For this reason, we demand that Kellogg’s not only remove GMOs but they must also obtain independent verification through the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project standard uses the same contamination tolerance level of less than 0.9% (nine tenths of one percent) followed by the European Union.
And as evidence continues to grow showing that GMO and conventional agriculture is responsible for the collapse of our ecological systems, from environmental pollution to species loss, it is imperative that Kellogg’s begin shifting its ingredients sourcing to organic.
Do the right thing, Kellogg’s: Remove GMOs, get Non-GMO Project Verified, and begin transition to organic, beginning with products marketed to children. Until then, we will boycott all of your products and brands.
After signing the petition, call Kellogg’s customer service and ask them to remove GMOs from all their products and brands, get Non-GMO Project Verified, and transition to organic, beginning with products marketed to children: 800-962-1413