Health E-Insights: What is GOED doing to educate consumers about the health benefits of EPA and DHA?
Mr. Ismail: We are still essentially a startup organization, having only been incorporated for the past four years, so unfortunately we still are not big enough to do all the consumer education we would like to do. However, our primary consumer education goals have been to enable the industry by establishing health claims and recommended intakes that can be used as communication tools. We are also working to expand our network of consumer health editors around the world. There are more than 6000 unique articles on omega 3s appearing in traditional consumer media outlets around the world each year, but much of it is inaccurate. We want to make sure these authors have access to a reliable source of data and information, so that consumers in turn are exposed to accurate information.
Health E-Insights: Of the goals you have set for GOED, what are you most proud of accomplishing?
Mr. Ismail: The goals are actually set by our members and board, all designed to promote and protect the markets for EPA and DHA. This is a unique category though because of the very special role EPA and DHA play in sustaining human health and evolution, so if we do not build a sustainable organization that can protect this category for the long run then we not only have a negative impact on our industry but also all human health. So I think our members would agree that building GOED to the point where we have a full staff in a narrow category like this is probably the most important goal we have reached.
Health E-Insights: What is the biggest challenge facing GOED members today?
Mr. Ismail: There are a lot of challenges in omega 3s today, but it is a result of an industry growing to the point where EPA and DHA are today. More than $19 billion of consumer products fortified with EPA and DHA are consumed each year. That means there will be disreputable competitors, that new sources of supply will emerge and that regulators will focus on the category more. Our biggest challenge is to make sure that our growth is controlled in a way that ensures future sustainable growth.
Health E-Insights: What two or three words come to mind when you think of GOED?
Mr. Ismail: Quality and ethics. That is easy, as both are requirements of membership in GOED and are values that our members know they have to embrace to ensure we have an industry for the long haul.
Health E-Insights: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Mr. Ismail: Wow. This is a personal question. I hope it is yet to come. I have been very lucky and fortunate in my life, I have a great job and am surrounded by even greater people. I hope I have been a good person too, but I don't really think anything I have done is that noteworthy.
Health E-Insights: What is your greatest fear?
Mr. Ismail: Losing my mind. Take your omega 3s.
Sheldon Baker wants to interview you. Contact Sheldon at SBaker@BakerDillon.com. Follow him on Twitter @NutraInk and visit his website at www.BakerDIllon.com.