The Bioengineered Hangover Cure: Changing the Conversation around GMOs with Zack Abbott of ZBiotics

Zack Abbott, CEO of ZBiotics

Bio and Contact Info


0:00 What is GMO 2.0?

8:20 What’s in the bottle?

19:18 A day in the life of the synbio CEO

26:15 Logistics challenges

32:12 The "Responsibly Engineered" Bumblebee label

36:05 We need the “Responsibly Engineered” Bumblebee label

Our goal with today’s show was twofold: bring you a practical holiday gift idea and to take you into the world of a synthetic biology entrepreneur. Our guest: Zack Abbott, CEO of ZBiotics.

Zack is a scientist turned businessman who is on a mission to change the conversation around GMOs. His first product is a genetically engineered probiotic that alleviates the morning-after hangover by breaking down acetaldehyde. Zack says he chose this product because it’s something consumers can choose to take—unlike a medicine that’s necessary like insulin.

“In general, people never got a choice with GMOs. But with ZBiotics, it’s an option. We clearly label every box and every bottle: “This product is proudly GMO.” And then we talk about what genetic engineering is and how it benefits the end user."

We chat with Zack about a day in the life of a synbio CEO. It’s not all about PR. There have been logistical challenges working with probiotics.

But even there, it does come back to the stigma around GMOs, for some suppliers who want to use the organic butterfly sticker are hesitant to work with them. Zack says the new synbio industry needs the “Responsibly Engineered” Bumblebee sticker. Let's own this, he says.

Hear, hear!