It's a step in the right direction. But we still need a mandatory GMO labeling law in every state. When and if it ever happens watch Monsatan's stock plummet.
I am wondering as to why exactly General Mills reversed course?
Perhaps producers are beginning to realize that very real questions still exist as to the entire GMO process. The GMO industry has failed miserably in upholding a standard of independent research, has its own bought and paid for 'science' labs, have been revealed in the past to have manipulated data, publicly intimidated research that challenges their finding, spuriously prosecuted farmers whose crops have been contaminated by their spore. In other words, created their own petard of public doubt that is not going to go away due to profit and global expansion motives. Add to that the toxicity of the required chemical inputs and the toxic stew is only increasingly documented.
Add to the above the deleterious effects on small scale agriculture, diversity necessary for nature's health long term and a public awakening to the profile of water problems, dysfunctional centralization and so many billions having been spent over the years to 'sell' this 'model' of predatory agriculture.
The high gloss sales pitch of its 'green revolution' is now riddled with evidence that its the color of money not healthy flora.
Most people don't want to eat poison. The word is out that General Mills uses genetically modified ingredient in some of its products. It is a smart idea of the company to tell the consumer which ones. This will allow people to continue to purchase some of their products that are GMO free, instead of not buying anything that General Mills makes at all.
And the momentum begins.
So long as we're referred to as 'consumers' and not 'customers,' you have your answer: profits. How I hate that word, 'consumer.' The 'mindless' that goes before it is inferred.
I doubt that this will change anything for General Mills. Anybody who has an inherent distrust of big food gave up General Mills, Campbell's et al many, many moons ago. Cheerios etc. are what I'd call a 'simulated food product,' or 'consumer feed.' KD (formerly know as Kraft Dinner... recently rebranded for the TXT MSG generation) is the epitome of this. Just picture a trough of Cheerios or 'KD' with the consumers coming up to 'feed' like livestock. As General Mills (GM(O)) has said, "this is what consumers want." They want to consume, hence, they're 'consumers.'
Yes... the main question being, "how can we realize more profits?" Beyond that, I agree with with everything you've said. You even bring it back full circle with:
I assure you there is no one in the big 'food'-producing apparatus facing deep moral questions and considering that in their actions. They are too busy with the struggle of how to be more marketable in the peddling of their trash to reflect on such things.
They fought for public opinion against it, but finally got whupped.
They had a loss-benefit decision as to whether to try to package a separate product for Vermont and deal with the complications and overhead of that, plus the notoriety of being known to be hiding information in one state that is printed in another, plus the lost sale when someone in Vermont just goes and posts "Which Are GMO's" on the Web and everyone from Charleston to Cucamonga can read it.
They decided it was better to be an early uptake group, save the ad money, keep operations streamlined, and look better to people to whom they wish to sell sell sell.
Doesn't mean they're great guys. Does mean the stuff will be labeled, mostly likely. And this makes a huge inroad. We can do this. Look for the labels. If there is no label or it says, GMO, don't buy it.
In turn, the pressure of the 'dominion' /robber baron mentality now dominating having reached crisis stage once again at unprecedented destructive scale dates back to the Emperor Constantine and fully codified as herd maintenance by the 15th century. Language itself being made the ultimate too. We tend to forget that only those who kept records of the wealth were permitted to learn to read when writing was fist introduced. Calendars then made life cycles something to use/control. Oddly enough all of the societal boundaries are referred to as being 'naturalized'. All feeding off the milk of human kindness - regarded as a weakness. Indigenous peoples have profound insight into today's dilemmas. Very much worth reading is 'Pagans in the Promised Land'.
The film 'Instinct' touched on this. Inspired by the book 'Ishmael', this scene compilation is chilling.with its illustration.
Just because consumers want something doesn't make it good.
They also want MacDonald's.
There is ZERO science that GMO is harmful to humans. There is a lot of hysteria, just like with gluten, but basically it's just a fad.
GMO does affect seed crops, but not human health.
Thank you Vermont, Senator Sanders!!
I read labels carefully so thanks.
I shall pursue the book and film, the video was great. I read Ismael years ago, at the time in the middle of my inaugural summer as an organic farmer. I remember thinking, 'is agriculture really a root of the problem... does it go back that far? Surely growing your own food is a good thing.' In the years since, becoming familiar with permaculture and reading the likes of Eisler's 'The Chalice and The Blade,' I've come to see that yes, it does goes back that far. It's funny that you mentioned the calendar as with the recent 'spring forward' we've gone through I was again reminded of a question I've been pondering for years: who's interest is served by this seemingly pointless adjusting of clocks bi-yearly? I found my answer this year. Conventional wisdom has it that it benefits the farmers, but in this late time the vast majority of farmers are 'corporate persons' so I never really bought that. Turn's out, the Chamber of Commerce is the leading advocate of savings time. Studies have shown that consumers consume more when the sun's out, so that's the primary reason for it. To increase the consumer's consumption by a relatively immeasurable amount.
Another aspect of our integrated nature is that all times approximately half of the world is asleep simply by reason of earth rotation. Each people has either 'ascribed' (root: 'written word' which attributes a temporal marker to the concept of scribe/writing with phonetic alphabet, itself a technological innovation with its own implications) or evolved a ancestral thread of the meaning and function of sleeping and dreaming. The idea of privilege, largely a condition resulting from the taking of resource and meaning from one to another individual or grouping. The impacts on sustainable integration we now face.
When I look at the current notion of technologies, it has essentially come to mean industrially 'privatized', locked into an abstracted hierarchy of 'power to take'. For instance, to the traditional peoples of [Australia] life is the dreaming. It is a technology of spiritual orienting of being, mapping and stewarding. Or the Tibetan spiritual traditions - so stunning in their applicable scope that scientists have been working with the monks t explore each others meanings and practices. A 30 year project with a French anthropologist and Yanomami shaman to explore the ancestral tradition of that people in 'The Falling Sky', footnoted to an 800 page volume on the traditional narratives of the Yanomami. To only name a few of the scholarly work to include the scope of other peoples' ways of being into consideration of the human condition that does not base life on taking more than natural balances allow for. Perspectives being technologies, and being in the world and living perspectives.
It seems to me that the hubris (from Greek hybris "wanton violence, insolence, outrage,") of western power has reached the wall and is terrified by the legacy of its own denied limitations and stupidity from the practices for acquiring privilege and its trappings (pretending to be gods). The perspective of dominion/dominance is as a consequence rendered destructive, ignorant, and uninformed as to what to do because the human capacity for empathy, coherence of feeling, has been systematically eroded in service to power of domination. Beauty, another universal human condition of the coherent heart and mind, is is wantonly destroyed by this now demonstrably paranoid industrial version of existence. I imagine and contemplate and try to adapt my life to what existence would look like, feel like and result in if the priorities were rebalanced. I recall my grandmother writing to me shortly before she died, saying share the little things, they are what is most important.
"Corporations" aren't a monolithic force. At some point each individual company must decide how much or how little they don't want to become a consumer pariah.
Sometimes a division of a larger company, in particular the Ben and Jerry's branch of Unilever, must break with the company program to keep up its image. Unilever funded an anti-labeling political campaign in California and Ben and Jerry's felt the boycott. Now Ben and Jerry's has permission from the boss to fight against GMOs. Yes, this strikes me as rather two-faced on Unilever's part. More likely, Ben and Jerry's as a single voice demanded of the boss, as part of the smaller company's continuing internal solidarity, that it take this stand. Unilever saw the light, but that light hasn't permeated the rest of the company.
General Mills sells stuff that was once considered "health food" when Kellogg's came out with their corn flakes a century ago. Cereal is really sugary stuff these days and heavily marketed to kids but the company still puts some cheap vitamins into it. Some products like Total sell because of the vitamins. So, General Mills has a really delicate balance of pleasing certain consumer intellects with its proper vitamin balance while at the same time keeping the very same consumers all buzzed out with lots of sugar. They already took one step to get a leg up on Kelloggs by promising only whole grain products, with more vitamin E.
In any case, 5% of the American public will no longer touch anything not labeled "Non-GMO". Non-GMO oils don't cost that much more. General Mills ran the math on their high-markup products.