Kashi responds to consumers on GMO soy ingredients
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Thanks for your inquiry about the photo currently circulating about Kashi ingredients. The information in the photo originates from a report by the Cornucopia Institute last October. As you know, Kashi is committed, and has been for over 25 years, to making high quality, safe foods with positive nutrition. The Kashi team cares deeply about our food system, which is why we’d like to share our perspective regarding the information in the report and the photo.
A major challenges we face in North America is that over 80% of many crops, including soy, are grown using GMOs. In addition, factors outside our control, such as pollen drift from nearby crops and current practices in agricultural storage, handling, and shipping, has led to an environment in North America where GMOs are not sufficiently segregated. As a result, some of our foods may contain GMOs.
Making changes in our food system is a journey and we’ve always believed in and demonstrated self-improvement. Here are some of the actions we’ve taken over the last several years that demonstrate our commitment to positive change.
[Note: Read about the California Right to Know Genetic Engineering Act will generate increased revenue and goodwill for Kellog's Kashi brand.]
Kashi, Non-GMO Project & Organic
Regarding GMOs, we have been proactively taking action on this issue for many years. Most recently, Kashi has partnered with the Non-GMO Project, and organization that provides third party Non-GMO Project Verification to help people make well-informed decisions. For several years, Kashi has been committed to increasing the amount of organic ingredients used in our foods. We now source about 35 million pounds of organic ingredients per year, which is a seven-fold increase since 2004. Kashi has made these increases despite the unfavorable changes in organic demand as cited in the Cornucopia report. Today, 48% of Kashi’s annual grain supply is organic and the organic wheat grown for Kashi foods represents a full 3% of the total US organic wheat acreage. We plan to continue our dedication to increasing organic. Given the fact that only 0.7% of US cropland is organic, it’s unfortunate that Cornucopia failed to recognize Kashi’s significant contribution to supporting organic agriculture and our ability to impact future change.
Food Safety is a Top Priority for Our Business
Kashi maintains stringent control standards to ensure that raw materials contain no harmful pesticide residues. In addition, all ingredients we use fall well within the guidelines set by the U.S.D.A. The information provided in the report regarding pesticides was not based on testing of actual Kashi products but was instead based on USDA data for those general crops. It is scientifically inaccurate and misleading to make the assumption that the same levels of residue would exist in our finished foods. We are confident that our products are free of any substance that would pose a health risk to our consumers.
Nutrition Plays an Integral Role in People & Planet Health
While Kashi clearly supports the expansion of organic, we have always made it priority to ensure that our foods also have meaningful levels of positive nutrition. We are disappointed that the Cornucopia report ignores the role of nutrition in improving health. Kashi foods are largely plant based and provide significant amounts of whole grains, as recommended by the recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. For example, 87% of Kashi foods have 8g or more of whole grains per serving and over half provide 16g or more of whole grains per serving. Sadly, only 15% of Americans eat the recommended intake of whole grains and this is something that should not be overlooked.
The Kashi team remains passionately committed to helping our consumers improve their natural health with both natural and organic foods just as we have for the last 25 years. Thanks again for sharing your concerns and please let us know if you have any other questions.