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Kashi Cereal Stirs Anger – Exposed by Small Rhode Island Grocer

June 25, 2012

“All Natural Healthy” Breakfast Cereal may not be all that “Natural”.

Kashi Cereal Stirs Anger – Exposed by Small Rhode Island Grocer

Joan L. McDaniel May 19, 2012 Updated January 27, 2014

This is a combination of an article from Dr. Mecola’s web site and my own research Joan L. McDaniel

I like my breakfast cereal once in a while.  I like enough not to give it up completely but I took a real battle to find something SAFE TO EAT.

By Dr. Mercola

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 (GMO) 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.

“All natural” claim on food labels is often deceptive; foods harbor hidden MSG and other unnatural ingredients

Monday, March 21, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Learn more:

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 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.

Adding insult to injury, the company appears to have made a poor attempt to save face by further misleading consumers about the accuracy of the information that led the Rhode Island grocer to not carry the Kashi brand anymore.

The Cornucopia Institute released a report, Cereal Crimes, back in November of last year, which details the presence of genetically engineered grains in a number of leading “natural” cereal brands, including Kellogg’s Kashi brand. Shockingly, many of the products tested were found to contain high amounts of genetically engineered grains—some, including Kashi, containing 100 percent genetically engineered grains!

Shocking Finding: Many Natural Brands Contain up to 100 Percent GM Ingredients!

The most disturbing finding presented in the featured report relates to GM ingredients found in so-called all-natural foods:

“The Cornucopia Institute sent samples of breakfast cereal to an accredited and highly reputable GMO testing laboratory. Samples were tested for the exact percentage of genetically engineered corn or soybeans, using the most sophisticated and accurate tests commercially available.

The results were stunning. Several breakfast cereal manufacturers that market their foods as “natural,” even some that claim to avoid genetically engineered ingredients and are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, contained high levels of genetically engineered ingredients.”

Natural products that contained 100 percent genetically modified grains included:

Kashi® Mother’s® Nutritious Living® General Mills Kix®
GoLean® Bumpers® Hi-Lo®

The report also mentions a class action lawsuit filed against Kellogg/Kashi on August 31, 2011, “for allegedly misleading consumers with its “natural” claims. One Kashi® product in particular, GoLean® Shakes, is composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients, according to the plaintiff.”

Once the grocer’s sign went viral and angry consumers began overloading the Kashi telephone lines, the company switched to a recorded message stating they were temporarily unable to accept calls. “This is classic public relations spin and crisis communications work, where corporations use misinformation to try to cover their tracks,” said Rebekah Wilce, of the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch, which helps expose corporate PR tactics…”

So, in a matter of days, Kashi ended up backpedaling as their initial attempt to discredit the Cornucopia Institute’s test results backfired, and now the company has agreed to ensure their products will, within the next three years, contain at least 70 percent certified organic ingredients. While this is probably not going to be enough for most health conscious consumers, Kashi’s pledge is at least a good demonstration of the power of consumer education, and that consumers ultimately have the power to influence even the largest of food companies. After all, they can only sell what you’re willing to buy!

The misuse of the term “natural” by companies who simply pay lip service to  sustainability and the organic movement undermines companies that are truly sincere in their efforts to bring you eco-friendly, unadulterated, safe foods.

Update 1/27/14

Cheerios no longer GMO?

Local Harvest reported in their January 2014 newsletter that General Mills announced that Cheerios would no longer be made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.  They go on to say that General Mills has a myriad other products which also contain GMO ingredients but GM is making no effort to change the ingredients.  General Mills owns organic brands Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen which made campaign contributions that helped defeat the GMO labelling initiative in the State of Washington last November. Given all this, some people have suggested that the change with Cheerios was just a PR ploy.

End Update 1/27/14

The Difference Between Natural and Organic

It’s important to understand that the “natural” label is not regulated and does not provide a guarantee of being free of genetically engineered ingredients or synthetic pesticides and additives. Currently, the ONLY label that can protect you against genetically engineered ingredients and other unsavory additives is the USDA 100% Organic label.

The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) took effect October 21, 2002, and regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced. The labeling requirements of the NOP apply to raw, fresh products and processed products that contain organic agricultural ingredients. In order to qualify as organic, a product must be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity.

Produce is 95% Organic

Why We MUST Insist on Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

Labeling may be the only way to stop the proliferation of genetically engineered foods in the U.S., but simple petitions will likely fail. We strongly support state initiatives, such as California’s ballot initiative to require labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state. A coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals has already submitted the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act to the State Attorney General, and thousands of volunteers have done an outstanding job collecting the required signatures.

Now, the campaign needs funding. Needless to say, it’s going to be an enormous battle, as the biotech industry will outspend us by 100 to 1, if not more, for their propaganda aimed at stopping Californians from voting it into law.

This is my two cents on the subject.  Joan McDaniel

I searched further on the Web and I found other Kashi products note they display the USDA Organic label.  According to Dr. Mercola’s article that means these cereals are safe to eat. Now what do I do with the cereal I had purchased and partially eaten? My first thought was give it to the birds, but who wants sick birds????

If you look at the back of the new packaging Kashi, has spent some real money making it look like they are as home grown and trustworthy as your neighborhood farmer.  It is up to us to keep vigil and keep these manufactures honest.  Thank goodness for that small Rhode Island Grocer and for Dr. Mercola.


Joan McDaniel

Kashi products note they display the USDA Organic label.

From the company’s web site:

Being a little wiser, I then started my search for a cereal again.

I emerged after about 30 minutes searching my local health food store’s shelves with this safe cereal. I am glad to report that I have found a few others.  The cereals are made by small dedicated companies without much advertisement money but with a lot of heart and commitment.  This is real competition that the American Way use to be before the total control of the propaganda machine of big pharma, business and government started calling the shots.

Update 1/14/14

The marketing hype of “natural” cereals

Do you buy “natural” cereals and granola to avoid pesticides and genetically modified ingredients? Organic foods, by label, are supposed to be produced in an environmentally sustainable way.

As shown in this report from the Cornucopia institute, the term “natural” has no meaning except in marketing hype, and these natural cereals are often priced higher than their organic counterparts.

The Cornucopia Institute

End Update

Nature’s Path: Our Values

We’re not your typical food company.

Our products are sold in grocery stores all over the continent, on the shelf next to a lot of other brands. Some of them are even organic brands. But there’s one thing that makes us stand out from the crowd. Our values as a company come from our values as people first, and they’re ideals we hold near to our hearts.

Multigrain Oatbran Cereal

This just one of the many cereals I found with Nature’s Path name.  Organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic honey, sea salt. Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts or soy. More Info >>

Multigrain Oatbran Flakes

Flakes blended from oat, wheat, corn and brown rice flours plus the nutritional boost of whole wheat sprouts.

Made with love and …

INGREDIENTS: Whole oat flour*, whole wheat meal*, wheat bran*, evaporated cane juice*, oat bran*, yellow corn flour*, brown rice flour*, barley malt extract*, sea salt, whole wheat sprouts*. *Organic. Contains wheat. Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

This is about the best Nutrition Cereal label I have seen.  The sugar is only 4g (No HFCS) which is wonderfully low.  Cereal is famous for being loaded with sugar, it is normally at least 10g or more, and the carbohydrate 24g/Dietary Fiber 5g is the best I have seen.

This is my two cents

Joan McDaniel

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