Organic Consumers Association

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Massive Social Outrage Over "Natural" Kashi Cereal Contaminated with GMOs

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our The Myth of Natural page.

    A simple sign on a grocery store shelf has gone viral, causing a storm of outrage among consumers who feel they've been misled by cereal maker Kellogg's claims about its Kashi cereals. A Rhode Island grocer posted a note on the shelf where Kashi was supposed to be, saying he'd learned it wasn't 100 percent natural after all, and therefore wasn't carrying it anymore.

 It turns out the soy in Kashi cereals comes from genetically modified Roundup-ready soybeans, which have a gene inserted in them that allows the crop to withstand otherwise lethal doses of the weed killer.

 USA Today reported that consumers felt duped into believing that Kashi was all-natural when it's noti. Their complaints were initially brushed off by Kashi general Manager David DeSouza, who told USA Today that since the FDA doesn't regulate the term "natural," the cereal maker has done nothing wrong by defining "natural" as minimally-processed with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sweeteners.

Were You Duped by Kashi's Wholesome Brand Identity?

 People generally tend to believe that the word "natural" refers to foods grown "in a natural way," which really amounts to organic farming methods, or close to it; sans harsh chemicals, and most definitely not something that has been genetically engineered. Unfortunately, that's not what the "natural" label represents at all. In fact, the "natural" label is unregulated, and companies can define it as they please.

 But most food manufacturers are well aware of this general misperception of what the label means, and frequently misuse it to lure health conscious consumers into spending more. This is known as "green-washing" and it certainly applies in this case. 

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