A photo of a sign explaining why Kashi cereal products were pulled from the shelves of a natural foods retailer has sparked an angry consumer backlash aimed at Kashi for its use of suspect cereal ingredients.
The sign appeared in the aisles of the Green Grocer, based in Portsmouth, R.I. Owner John Wood read a report from The Cornucopia Institute, Cereal Crimes, that detailed the use of GMO grains and the presence of pesticide residues found on conventional grains that were then packaged as "natural" cereals for sale, by Kashi, to health-conscious consumers.
Kashi, one of the nation's leading "natural" brands, owned by Kellogg, was one of the brands featured in the report. Cereal Crimes contrasts the natural cereals with certified organic cereals which prohibit genetically modified grains and synthetic pesticides in organic food production.
Last week images of the sign went viral on the web. More than 11,000 "shares" from just one of many Facebook pages spread across the web, and angry consumers began calling and writing Kashi and posting comments on the company's Facebook page expressing their outrage at being misled by the company's marketing spin.
"Had I known I was buying a product that was like all the others in the "normal" cereal aisle". I would have never purchased it and I certainly would not have paid the high prices!!!! It disgusts me," wrote one consumer, on Kashi's Facebook page. "Yours is the only brand cereal I have bought for years. Not anymore! You are despicable. Everything you supposedly stand for is a lie," added another angry consumer, among the scores commenting.
For a period of time on Wednesday, April 25, Kashi's consumer call-in line provided only a recorded message, indicating they were "temporarily" not accepting calls. When the company again began accepting calls, a Kashi consumer affairs employee, Rick Duran, told a Cornucopia staff member that "no actual testing" of their cereal products had been performed. This mimicked the analysis also offered in a response by the company in an online video posted that same afternoon on the Kashi Facebook page. The video spokesperson called Cornucopia's information "scientifically inaccurate and misleading because it was not based on actual testing of Kashi products."
"This characterization of our work by Kashi is blatantly false," said Will Fantle, Cornucopia's Research Director. "We purchased a readily available box of Kashi's GoLean - cereal from a Whole Foods store. We then sent a sample to an accredited national lab for testing, finding that the soy in the natural cereal was 100% GMO."
The Kashi video also suggested, disingenuously, that any genetically engineered contamination in their food was from incidental sources rather than crops intentionally grown from GMO seed. While acknowledging that over 80% of the soybeans grown in North America are GMO, they explain that, "practices in agricultural storage, handling, and shipping, have lead to an environment where GMOs are not sufficiently controlled."
No wonder Monsanto doesn't want people to know what is in the food they buy/eat because of backlash just like this