The Kashi GMO controversy: Will you stop buying the crunchy cereals?


Your love affair with GoLean Crunch may be on the fritz.

Kashi has been battling controversy for the past couple of weeks after a Rhode Island grocery store owner called attention to the fact that the popular crunchy cereal peddler was using not-so-natural ingredients, like genetically modified soy.

The cereal company (which is owned by Kellogg’s) is a long-time favorite of of healthy food lovers, and it has always marketed its foods as “natural.”

Customers were outraged by the misleading marketing (and took to Facebook to express it). And David Desouza, Kashi’s general manager, didn’t exactly help convince them that their health was his top priority when he told the Detroit Free Press that Kashi had done nothing wrong because “The FDA has chosen not to regulate the term ‘natural.'”

Subtext: If the FDA is not going to regulate it, why wouldn’t we try to get away with tricking people?

Since then, Desouza has gone into damage-control mode, posting a video on Facebook and promising that by 2014, all of Kashi’s cereals and granola bars will be Non-GMO Project Verified, and as of 2015, new products will be made with 70 percent organic ingredients.

What do you think? Too little to late for you to trust Kashi again, or are you satisfied with the company’s promise to make changes?


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19 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. May 1st, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Hmmm. I’ll believe it when I see it. Try checking out some of the products at Whole Foods…not all so perfectly “natural” either.

  2. May 1st, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Too little, too late!

  3. May 1st, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    It is true that the word “natural” means absolutely nothing in the world of food production. Unfortunately, there was really no reason to ever believe that there would be no GMOs in Kashi products, since Kashi products are not certified organic. Just because a product is marketed as “healthy” does not necessarily make it so.

  4. May 1st, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I’m done with Kashi. My main problem with them is their usage of the poorest, most processed form of protein- soy protein isolate. Then they tout their products as being high in protein (as much as an egg). You’re better off eating the egg. Pair that with genetically engineered, non-organic grains and it’s a pretty gross product that is the opposite of real food.

  5. May 2nd, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I will start eating Kashi cereal again when I know there is NO GMO in it. California has an Initiative to “Label Genetically Engineered Foods” for the November ballot. California is going to need help from people in every state to start educating their friends and families about GMO’s in our food supply whether it’s labeled “Natural” or not. This summer there will be GMO fresh sweet corn being sold without a label so unless you buy organic or can track it back to the farmer you won’t know what you’re eating. They’re working on salmon, again without a label we have no idea. This one incident with Kashi is a great start on getting the message out that there is Genetically Engineered Foods in our food supply. It’s time to start educating those that you love and to help support California voters to get educated.

  6. May 10th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I’ve stopped buying the brand at this point. Notsure what I’ll do when the non-GMO labeling comes about.

  7. May 11th, 2012 at 12:23 am

    will consider buying again when it is certified organic and non GMO

  8. May 19th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    what is really tricky, is the sticker you now see on the Kashi box, an adhesive sticker that has been tacked on to try and squelch the controversy. Sticker says “non gmo project VERIFIED”. what ?

  9. May 19th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Absolutely outraged! I just re-filled my cupboards with this Kashi crap today as I have been doing for years now! Tomorrow I attempt to return all of it and get my money back.

    No more Kashi! No more Kellogs! I will never again purchase anything from a company that outright lies to their customers!

  10. June 3rd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Had I known sooner that Kashi sold (out!) to Kellogg’s, I would never have started buying it. And in questioning myself about why I didn’t know that, I looked at a box to see if Kellogg’s was printed anywhere on it. It is not. I do see that the product is “distributed by” Kashi Sales LLC which is now obvious to me a clever, thought-out trick to keep Kellogg’s name off the box, and to hide information from those of us doing our best to make educated choices about what we eat.

    Kellogg’s, in my mind, has long been one of the leaders of the pack in processed, sugar-filled (i.e. addictive) nutrition-devoid products that I hope people begin to become more educated about and stop putting in their bodies. This is hard to do, however – which they know – when the information is not made readily available.

    Kellogg’s maneuver in purchasing a company that had done a great job developing a trusted product, and establishing a following in those of us who want to make whole, clean choices about what we put in our bodies is a glaringly strategic one. Shame on you, Kashi, for selling out!

    David DeSouza’s comment speaks all too clearly not only about the lack of integrity and accountability of Kellogg’s but about the intentional wiliness and disgraceful power of the “food” industry.

    A company that really is about whole, healthy nutrition and bringing a product to market with that mission would have fired him on the spot. A company that really is about whole, healthy nutrition would not be looking outside of their own Mission for “rules of the game”, they would be setting and abiding by their own.

    It is cowardly and irresponsible, not to mention shameful, for DeSouza to point his finger at Government as the excuse for Kellogg’s lies. It has long been apparent that they (Government) are led around like fat, well-paid puppets by the so-called food and Agri-business industries which we already know do NOT have health and humanity as priorities The only priority that any of these folks have is greed.

    Let’s get back to the Earth, people. Let’s start treating Her with the grace and gratitude that She deserves. Let’s get back to caring for each other, caring for and respecting the creatures that share this Planet with us (watch “Meet Your Meat” if you are really serious about educating yourself and being responsible for what you eat and the role you play in supporting the atrocities!). Let’s get back in the kitchen together to put our meals together out of single ingredient, naturally un-processed, un-boxed food-stuff: carrot, broccoli, almond, walnut, spinach, brown rice, etc.

    And let’s sit down at our tables together again, too!

    My cereal this morning: Brown Rice, Organic Walnuts, Sliced Organic Apple, Organic Red Grapes, Organic Blueberries, Hulled Organic Hemp Seeds, Organic Almond Milk. Simple and quick once you’ve done it once or twice!

    (I used to crush up Kashi Cinnamon Harvest on top, which I was happy to find is non-GMO but now unhappy to find is really Kellogg’s so it is not omitted from the recipe).

    Kashi/Kellogg’s is not needed in this kitchen, and I’d venture to guess it’s not really needed in your’s either!

    Much love and wellness to everyone sharing this Earth. Let’s band together, folks – It’s Time!!!

  11. June 3rd, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Last paragraph about crushing up Kashi Cinnamon Harvest should have read ” is NOW omitted from the recipe”!

  12. June 15th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Catherine, I wish it were so easy to get back to eating fresh and raw veggies. I, too, have been consuming Kashi cereal for some years, but that boxes that I eat are labelled with the Organic Promise. I am wondering if that makes any difference at all. I guess I’ll go back to Cascadian Farm cereals. But it is really really hard to eat healthy green food. I live in Newark, NJ and I don’t own a car (part of my efforts to pollute less). Yesterday, I walked to Pathmark, which is the closest local supermarket to me. The only organic options in the supermarket were prepackaged Earthbound spinach, argula and mixed greens. I went through the entire super market looking for products that were organic and non-gmo. I came home with like 4 bags of groceries. There was almost NOTHING that was organic or non-gmo. There weren’t any fruits or any produce in the whole supermarket. This goes a lot to food justice issues. In low income communities, there just is minimal availability of organic options. When there are organic options, it’s all pre-cut and pre-packaged. I really wish there were farms nearby where I could get the food off the ground, but the earth here is covered in concrete. What do we do as people trying to live a healthy life? Our government needs to intervene and not let these companies do whatever they want with our food.

  13. July 18th, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    lets start a lawsuit!

  14. August 21st, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I am no longer interested in anything Kashi produces. Since when is GMO natural?
    David Desouza, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  15. September 25th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Just learned of this DECEPTION. I will no longer buy Kashi products, as of NOW!

  16. November 26th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    KELLOGG COMPANY (also won Kashi products) was recently spent $790,70 dollars on ads to campaign on “no” incentive in state of California for voting against the gmo food labeling initatiative.

    The vote occurred on Nov 7, 2012 during the election votes. That is the latest news this year!

    Source link: http://www.examiner.com/article/ca-prop-37-gmo-food-labeling-initiative-defeated

  17. February 23rd, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I’m going to finish my last box of Kashi cookies and that’s it. No more Kashi for me until it is proven that they have cleaned up their act.

  18. March 7th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Kashi gave in to big corporation. I used to buy Kashi, but since I found out how they sold out and the use of GMO’s no more Kashi in my household, never

  19. November 11th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    the privatisation laws now allow companies to avoid letting us know who owns who..monsanto is bad business.even allowing them to exist threatens the crops growing around the area through fertilization..this is prime example of seed control.

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