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General Mills, Inc. (GIS - Analyst Report) has started making its original Cheerios breakfast cereals minus the genetically modified organisms or GMOs amid growing concerns of consumers and activist groups regarding the use of such ingredients in food items.

The original Cheerios packages will now include the label “not made with genetically modified ingredients”, the Minneapolis-based consumer food giant said in a blog post on Thursday.

GMOs refer to crops grown from biotech seeds, also known as genetically modified seeds. The original Cheerios are made from oats not grown using biotech seeds. The company has also replaced the corn starch and sugar used is making Cheerios with non-GMO versions of the same. The healthier version of original Cheerios is expected to hit the shelves soon.

Health and nutrition remains the key focus of General Mills. Many of its core brands as well as innovations, mainly in yogurt, add more nutritional value to the packaged food with more fruits, vegetables and fiber and less fat content. The idea is to cater to the growing numbers of health-conscious customers that prefer the convenience of packaged food without compromising on health.

Other Stocks to Consider

General Mills carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) after it reported dismal second-quarter fiscal 2014 results. General Mills missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both revenues and sales due to lower sales in the U.S. retail business and high input costs in the quarter.

Earnings declined 3.5% but revenues were flat with the year-ago levels. Though management maintained its previously provided fiscal 2014 earnings outlook, it warned that higher-than-expected currency headwinds could result in earnings coming in at the lower end of the guided range.

Other better-ranked stocks in the food industry include The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN - Analyst Report), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR - Analyst Report) and The Chefs' Warehouse, Inc. (CHEF - Snapshot Report). All these companies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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