Apology to GMO protesters who were offended

The intention of my last post here was really to inform my fellow SZYM investors about the company’s technology. The issue was brought up by Gouldberg on several occasions…he had said that he was unclear whether Solazyme’s algae is GMO based. The simple answer is yes, most of their production strains have been genetically engineered.

The other concern to some as investors in SZYM was whether GMO backlash could hamper the company’s future success. I will try to answer my view of this below. First, I would like to offer an apology to anyone who I may have personally offended by calling GMO protesters ignorant fools. Regardless of my personal view of GMO protesters’ state of ignorance on the subject, I could have refrained from calling them ignorant fools. Yes, I am sure that most of such protesters are well meaning, good people. So if you are one of these protesters, you have my sincere apology.<?B>

So what do I think about GMO backlash an SZYM. I believe it will be inconsequential. GMO food has been around since the early 1990s. It was never really much of an issue in the United States. In Europe, there was a big uproar about food safety and environmental in the late 1990s. I believe a number of countries enacted labeling laws. However, there are pretty big technical and logistical challenges in proving that food is completely GMO free.

First, about 90% of the corn and 90% of the soy produced in the US is produced from GMO plants. That’s a huge amount and the testing burden is enourmous should testing become mandatory. Second, to what level should there be a testing requirement? It is impossible to test down to the 0% level. Sampling would be required. What if 3% of the corn was from GMO and 97% was not? Third, there are huge issues of practicality. Should all restaurants be required to test and label every item on their menus? So besides the costs, impracticality, how much of a burden should the government place on industry and business owners? And for what? If someone is really so concerned about eating GMO food, it would be far better for everyone if they just avoided eating corn and soy (and avoid all restaurants and soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup). I think most people in the US would trust the FDA not to allow the use of unsafe foods. Generally, the US seems much less willing to regulate than the Western European authorities. Therefore, I think the majority of Americans won’t think twice about GMO; in fact, I’m sure that the several hundred million Americans who’ve been eating GMO foods for 20 years without knowing it will continue to do so.



How much of SZYM’s product is food vs. nonfood? I suspect there is a category of people who may hesitate to eat GMO product but wouldn’t mind using a GMO lubricant, for instance.