Post Foods ‘A+’ in Scamming Consumers

Is Post Foods intentionally misleading consumers?

It is final exam time at universities, students will soon find out if their hard work and efforts are rewarded through high grades. At this time, I’d like to give a special grade, A+, to Post Foods Canada in consumer deception. Well done Post Foods, you’re chosen to use non-GMO labelling to mislead consumers about your products and actual GM foods.

Shredded Wheat box, Post Foods CanadaLast August, I wrote a blog on Post Foods’ dubious use of non-GMO certification when the only ingredient listed is wheat. Such a marketing practice should be viewed with skepticism as there is NO GMO wheat sold or approved in Canada or anywhere else on the planet for that matter. There simply is no GMO wheat to be purchased or that could possibly end up in a box of Post Foods cereal.

Shredded Wheat NON GMO labelling & IngredientsAt the time, I filed a complaint with the Canadian Competition Bureau regarding Post Foods practices of misleading consumers. However, sadly the Competition Bureau will not stand up for consumers rights and refused to get involved, stating to me, “We have reviewed your information and determined that the matter you have raised falls more directly within the mandate of another organization. As we will not be pursuing this matter further….”

Well done Post Foods, this time you got an A+ in Consumer ScammingPost Foods knows full well that there is no GMO wheat in the market, their marketing of non-GMO verification was a strategic business, a corporate decision to capture consumers seeking GM-free products and for many corporations, this is done purely for marketing reasons. Evidence of this is the labelling of non-GMO salt, all salt is GM free, in fact, all salt is free of any genetic material, it’s a mineral! Obviously, Post Foods believes it is acceptable to misinform consumers about their products. Sure shows what Post Foods thinks of you as a valued purchaser of their products doesn’t it!

This raises the issue that food companies recognize that consumers typically know little about GM crops or food and they can use this lack of knowledge to their marketing advantage. An American food company executive has said the following about non-GMO labelling, “[if it] doesn't say non-GMO on it, chances are somebody will bypass that”. Non-GMO labelling on a product where there is no GMO product in the market misleads and scams consumers. It’s a good thing Post Foods doesn’t sell bottled water or they’d be labelling it as non-GMO too!!

For a corporation ‘appearing’ to be more transparent by using non-GMO labels, Post Foods has earned an A+ for their deception of Canadian consumers suggesting there is a GM wheat in the market.

Post Foods Canada contact to air your grievance If you are like me and are more than a little bit irritated at being treated in such a manner by Post Foods, feel free to contact them and complain. Companies that have such a low opinion of us and the hard-earned money we spend on food deserve to know what we think of their unethical business practices. Whether or not you support GM products, it is offensive that Post would take such a tactic as to paste a label on their product which has no relevance to actual market reality.

7 Comments

  1. Stuart M.

    I’ve said it before. I live outside the USA and don’t have ready access to my favorite cereal Post Grape Nuts. On a recent trip, I noticed with dismay the “Non-GMO Project” label when I was reaching for the box at the grocery store. I put that box back and took the generic brand version instead. Then I fired off an angry email to Post.

  2. Billy

    I really appreciate you looking out for us people but I do have to add this… Even though there’s no GMO wheat available on the market, consumers don’t know that.

    So putting a non gmo label on a product that can’t be gmo is still valuable because it still informs them of that truth. I agree they should not be deceptive about it. They should say “Non gmo verified, wheat is always non gmo” to actually inform customers further.

    What makes me mad is seeing non gmo project verified on products that blatantly state “modified corn starch” on the ingredients list. That’s just plain wrong. Non gmo project is a SCAM.

  3. If the Non-GMO Project only verified products that are at high risk of being GMOs, it would place an undue burden on consumers. Most people don’t have an exhaustive knowledge of which ingredients are likely to come from GMOs and we want to make it easy for people to identify non-GMO options.

    There is also more than wheat in most breakfast cereals. This article neglected to mention that Grape Nuts also contain malt extract and yeast, both of which can be products of genetic engineering. Grape Nuts also contained multiple other GMO risk ingredients before changing the formula to remove potential GMOs. That’s a lot to keep track of! Consumers deserve an informed choice without needing to memorize constantly-changing ingredient lists and new developments in the commercial availability of GMO ingredients.

    Learn more about why the Non-GMO Project verifies seemingly low-risk products:

    https://livingnongmo.org/2016/12/22/why-the-non-gmo-project-verifies-low-risk-ingredients/

    1. SAIFood

      First, thank you for your comments! SAIFood understands that you are defending your business and that the Non-GMO Project is providing a service you believe is missing from the market. However, we would like to address a few things from your comment.

      SAIFood did not fail to mention Grape Nut cereal, our blog is about Shredded Wheat and a photo clearly indicates that ingredient label showing 100% is wheat. The Grape Nut reference was a posted comment, not from us.

      While we cannot expect consumers to know every technical detail about food production, we don’t think its right to use a non-GMO label for foods that have not been modified and bear no risk. In Canada, the CFIA and Health Canada assess all food products for risks, and determine what products are safe for consumers and to only approve those products found to be safe. We at SAIFood are more comforted by having PhD scientists assessing our food products for safety rather than a labelling initiative.

  4. Hi Billy,

    The “modified” in modified corn starch does not stand for genetically modified. In this context, “modified” simply means that the corn starch has been changed or altered in some way. This could mean:

    -Roasting the starch

    -Treating the starch with an acid

    -Using an electrical charge on the starch

    -Treating the starch with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide

    You can be sure products bearing the Non-GMO Project verification mark are in compliance with our rigorous Standard, which includes testing of high-risk products such as corn.

    Learn more about modified starches:
    https://livingnongmo.org/2017/10/01/faq-what-is-the-modified-in-modified-corn-starch/

  5. Emily

    You raise a great point. I’m wondering, too, whether just because wheat isn’t genetically modified, there exists the chance that it contains traces of herbicides and pesticides. I wonder if these big food companies can start verifying the effect their farming has on biodiversity and soil health. All things to consider 🙂

Leave a Reply