The Cornucopia Institute has released its latest grocery product report. Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label — A Look Down the Cereal and Granola Aisle takes a look at the “differences between organic cereal and granola products and so-called natural products, which contain ingredients grown on conventional farms where the use of toxic pesticides and genetically engineered organisms is widespread.”

In addition to the report, The Cornucopia Institute has also created a Cereal Scorecard that rates a cereal company’s commitment to organics and the use of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and toxic pesticides. Take a look at the scorecard carefully. Some of the companies that produce organic cereals get a lower score because they produce other products that are not organic. This doesn’t make their organic cereals less organic than companies that score higher. The scorecard is rating the brand name, not the individual products.

The finding I found most interesting was that some companies that had been known for organics seem to be dropping that certified label in favor of the unregulated natural label. When they stop using organic grains and other ingredients, they can use ingredients grown from GMOs that have had toxic pesticides sprayed on them.

Many of these ingredients are subsidized by the government, making them less expensive than organic ingredients that have little government support. Yet, the report found that many of the natural cereals cost more than many of the certified organic cereals.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Not-so-natural breakfast cereals
Some cereal companies have dropped organic certification in favor of the unregulated natural label. The Cornucopia Institute's new 'Cereal Crimes' report takes