TODAY   |  January 04, 2014

Cheerios to lose genetically modified ingredients

Opponents of genetically modified foods are celebrating after it was announced that Cheerios will now be made without GMOs and will be on store shelves soon. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> next time you pick up cheerios you may notice a small change . the iconic cereal is announcing it will no longer use genetically modified ingredients in that sekrer cereal.

>> reporter: in homes around the country, cheerios plays an important role. babies first finger food . it's practically a youtube phenomena. when an online campaign attacked generally mills for using genetically organizedisms ingredients they listened. there will no longer be gmos used in cheerios.

>> while the cost may be initially pretty expensive. long term and brand loyalty by those customers it will help them in the quts.

>> reporter: mom and activist o'bryan had stopped giving her kids cheerios altogether.

>> we don't have those long-term human health studies to know what the impact might be.

>> reporter: gmos have gone through genetic engineering to improve production and deeply controversial. several european countries have outright bans. in the united states , the fda regulates their use. in a statement, general mills says their decision is not an admission that gmos are unhealthy. in fact, other cheerio flavors, including honey nut, are not changing. a broad consensus that food containing gmos is safe but we decided to move forward with this in response to consumer demand . madeline says the uproar of gmos is based on little scientific evidence .

>> you can cherry pick information saying this is not safe but, remember, the fda and the world's health organization have dodge deemed gmo foods as safe.

>> reporter: unlike some of general mills other cereals, removing gmos from plain cheerios is relatively simple process. the little os are made with oats and only the corn starch is affected. much more difficult to change corn-based percentage. 85% of all corn produced in this country is genetically modified . for those concerned about gmos now a new option on.

>> to go back to the brands we loved as kids that i loved as a young mom! it means so much.

>> reporter: the one and only cheerio back in the bowl. for "today," stephanie governisk, nbc news, new york.

>> you're seeing more and more parents speaking about this and saying i'm not comfortable with certain ingredients and this is food for my kids. the company will say this is why we changed it? sort of open to interpretation?

>> it's to see now parents are becoming concerned about the foods they are giving their children.

>> will it taste different?

>> no, you won't taste the difference.

>> not the last time we tell one of these kind of stories.

>> i don't think so. just the beginning.