Kellogg is one of the largest buyers of grains in the world, ranging from common crops like corn and wheat to lesser known grains like spelt and amaranth. In addition to crops grown from bioengineered (BE) seeds, we are also one of the largest purchasers of organic grains for cereal in the US.
Our reasons for buying all types of crops are based on availability of ingredients and consumer preferences. For example, nearly all corn and much of the sugar beets available in the US comes from bioengineered crops. We do buy non-BE crops for our brands that are Non-GMO Project Verified™. However the BE vs. non-BE is not an issue for other common crops including rice, wheat and oats because there are no bioengineered versions of these items approved for farmers in the US.
Bioengineering, also known as genetic modification or genetic engineering, combines desirable traits from different plants or organisms (like resistance to a disease or pest) to produce stronger and more resilient crops.
As a company we are open to using BE ingredients because there are many studies supported by respected institutions that show that they are safe to eat and offer other benefits for farmers and the planet.
While global grain production is at an all-time high, the truth is that it is not enough to feed the planet’s growing population. According to the United Nations, 1 in 9 people on this planet go hungry. By 2050, the planet’s population is expected to expand to 9.5 billion which will require 70 percent more food to be produced. This is all happening at a time when the amount of land available for agriculture is shrinking. Naturally, some people have real questions about BE ingredients. And while bioengineered crops aren’t a “silver bullet” they are a key technology because of their improved yields and other qualities, along with measures to combat food waste that can help increase high-quality food production and fight hunger in the coming decades.
Bioengineered crops have been tested for decades to evaluate consumer and environmental safety. Those tests are reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and also the FDA. This includes more than 2,000 studies and reviews conducted for nearly thirty years by independent research groups, academics, and global health and regulatory agencies including the World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Authority, National Academy of Sciences, and the American Medical Association.
Bioengineered crops can maintain and improve yields while often using less water. Some Bioengineered seeds are designed to lessen food waste from bruising and spoilage. Others can protect crops from extreme weather events like droughts.
Socioeconomic Factors and Farmer Expertise
Our global Kellogg's Origins ™ program, and other sustainable agriculture investments build partnerships with farmers that support their climate, social, and economic resiliency. In these projects, farmers choose what kind of seeds they would like to grow. Depending on the market, the crop, the seed variety yield, the farmer, and country regulations, they may choose to grow BE or non-BE seeds.
As one of the world’s largest food companies we make a variety of foods that appeal to different tastes around the world. We support farmers’ choices to grow a variety of crops including BE, non-BE and organic. And for consumers, that means providing you information about what is in your food so that you can make informed choices about all of the foods that Kellogg offers.