Non-GMO Cheerios, Grape-Nuts Not As Nutritious Anymore


Just when we thought we could rejoice over major cereal manufacturers’ reformulating big cereal brands without GMOs, a review of ingredients in non-GMO Cheerios and Grape-Nuts reveals that they contain far fewer vitamins.

According to an article in Food Navigator-USA, the new non-GMO formulations of Original Cheerios and Grape Nuts might be made without ingredients from genetically engineered crops, but they also come with fewer vitamins – although brand owners General Mills and Post Foods won’t say why. The article notes that Grape-Nuts no longer contains 4 key vitamins: Vitamins A, D, B and B12 (riboflavin).  New Original Cheerios removed almost all the B12 (riboflavin); the old formula contained 28% of daily value with the new formula containing only 2%.

Cheerios-before-and-afterOn the blog BIOtech NOW, the Food Navigator article quotes Dr. Wayne Parrott, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia, who asserts that the new Cheerios and Grape-Nuts non-GMO formulations are less nutritious:

“Cheerios went from being a major source of Vitamin B2 to being almost zip. This was particularly ironic given that a large percentage of people who say they are avoiding GMOs claim to do so for health reasons.”

According to BIOTech Now, General Mills told FoodNavigator-USA that they “made no assertion that non-GM ingredients were ‘more wholesome.’  That is simply mistaken.”

So, why not source non-GMO vitamins?  According to Bethany Davis, R&D/Regulatory Project Lead at dietary supplement firm Mega Food, “it has proven to be difficult to ensure that all of the starting materials and additives” in certain vitamins are non-GMO.

So, is non-GMO cereal healthwash or real progress? I guess its complicated.

Cereal Bowl Photo:; Cheerios before and after photo: Goodbye GMOs (and vitamin B12, D, A, and Riboflavin): New non-GMO Grape Nuts and Original Cheerios are ‘certainly less nutritious’, claims professor


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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .
  • sorry I can’t say that I am terribly upset. We need to start eating way more whole food instead of processed foods.