On Friday, Dec. 7, thousands of angry Facebook users were still commenting on a post made on the Cheerios Facebook page.
The post, which went up on Facebook on Nov. 29, said the following:
Remember this commercial? Does it stir memories of getting together over the holidays? Let us know – we love hearing stories of holidays passed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca6b3C2tKzY
At 2 p.m. on Friday, the post had 1,239 comments, and counting. The comments had nothing to do with holiday memories. Instead, Facebookers were upset about labeling on Cheerios boxes, saying that the cereal contains Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Facebook fans are digging up old news regarding the Golden Valley-based company's support of California Proposition 37, a failed ballot initiative that would have forced companies to disclose the use of GMOs in their products.
Kirstie Foster, director of public relations for General Mills, told Patch that the attack is a coordinated effort by groups who disagreed with the company's opposition to Proposition 37.
"We have long opposed state-by-state labeling, for reasons we explained openly and transparently on our website," Foster said. "Most of the food industry opposed Prop. 37 for the same reasons. But it’s really an attack on companies who opposed Prop. 37, not the brand."
In November, General Mills released a statement describing why the company opposed Proposition 37. In the release, the company said:
Because state-based laws would require companies to label products differently in each state – increasing the cost for companies and consumers alike – most companies take a similar view.
Biotechnology – also called genetic engineering (GE) or genetic modification (GMO) – has been used for nearly two decades in certain varieties of corn, soybeans and other crops, helping plants resist diseases or insects, or enabling the use of less pesticide.
General Mills offers a wide range of certified organic products that, by definition, do not and cannot use biotechnology.
General Mills says they do not use biotechnology, but Facebook comments shows that organic advocates disagree.
According to an article recently published in the Sacramento Bee, the GMO Inside Campaign, a group whose mission was to defeat Proposition 37, asked their 12,348 Facebook fans to comment on Cheerios' Facebook page.
On November 29, GMO Inside Campaign wrote:
Cheerios wants to know what you think of their product.
Yellow highlighted ingredients on this box of cereal are likely to be derived from GMOs. General Mills, Inc. spent $1.2M in California to keep you from knowing about GMOs in their products.
Take a minute to share your thoughts today with Cheerios and invite others to do the same by sharing this post. https://www.facebook.com/Cheerios
Since Nov. 29, Cheerios and GMO Inside Campaign have not updated their Facebook pages, though comments continue to flood the Cheerios page.