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August 23, 2005


Kurt Dammeier

Again, I offer to talk with you directly about your concerns regarding ethics at Beechers. Two of our core business philosophies are integrity and education. I appreciate your challenge as a way to deliver on both fronts.

First - cloned v GMO. The chymosin we use is not a GMO. GMO means genetically modified. The reason it is such a problem is there is no long term feedback on how a previously untried combination of genes affects humans.

Chymosin is a cloned version of the original enzyme from the fourth stomach of a calf. It is not genetically modified. It is not a GMO. It IS cheaper (and we believe more humane) than harvesting it directly from a real calf stomach.

Second. I truly believe (as do many others) that this is the best way to make cheese. It is not vegetarian as you claim and as such, we never reference it is. Vegetarian rennet is made from seaweed and is generally acknowledged to create a slight bitter flavor in cheese.

Thanks again for the passion for cheese and the callenges to Beecher's! I appreciate the forum!


The Cheese Guy Responds:

The genetically modified organism in question is bacteria. They are modified geneticlly by the addition of a chymosin gene from a cow. The final product is a bacteria that makes chymosin thanks to genetic tinkering. Without GMO you would not have a cheap sourse of chymosin.

Chymosin from a GMO is considered vegetarian rennet. There is a remarkable difference between the words vegetarian and vegetable and many cheese producers take advantage of it. If chymosin from a GMO is used, then no animal has been killed and is often refered to as vegetarian. Vegetable rennet uses plants

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