Cathleen Enright

Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information

Cathy is the executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information. She is also the executive vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Cathy earned her PhD in Biochemistry and completed her postdoctoral training at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before becoming an agricultural trade and environment negotiator for the federal government in 1995. After her government service, Cathy worked for the produce industry before joining CBI and BIO in 2011. Cathy is a passionate advocate for all of US agriculture, and served on President Obama’s Agricultural Policy Committee in 2008 and again in 2012.

From this Expert

Posted On: Sunday, 2/16/2014 10:40 am
A: Cathleen Enright, executive director for the Council for Biotechnology Information, recently answered a similar question. Here is an excerpt from her response: “For far too long, we’ve let people’s questions and concerns about GMOs go unanswered. That negligence has resulted in a lot of the apprehension the public is expressing today. So here we are, late to the conversation, but resolute in our commitment to choice.  “There are a number of reasons consumers may prefer to... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 1/07/2014 10:01 am
A: We believe food companies have the right to select the ingredients that are best for their markets, just as farmers have the right to choose the seeds that are right for their businesses.  We appreciated General Mills transparency in this regard.   General Mills did a good job explaining the change and reinforcing the safety of GMOs.  (General Mills’ statements are available online: http://blog.generalmills.com/2014/01/the-one-and-only-cheerios  and http://cheerios.com... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 8/20/2013 7:22 pm
A: Regarding mandatory labeling requirements in other countries including in the EU, Japan, and Australia, none are based on safety or health concerns.  In fact, each of the regulatory authorities in these countries has determined that foods and animal feed made from GMO ingredients is as safe, healthy and nutritious as food and feed made from non GMO ingredients.  The wide diversity in the requirements globally demonstrates that the safety, health, or nutrition associated with GMO food... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/17/2013 6:09 pm
A: I recently posted a response, included below, which addresses the topics raised in your question. If you have additional questions after reading this response, please ask.I’m aware of only one country, Kenya, with a ban in place on GMO food imports. The decision came about in November 2012, apparently during a cabinet meeting, that circumvented the existing Kenyan Biosafety Act and the National Biosafety Authority, the regulatory agency established to regulate the use of GMOs.Every other... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/16/2013 1:58 pm
A: The short answer can be found in the last paragraph of this response, but I thought in responding to your question, I might first correct a misconception and then spend just a minute talking about gene flow to ensure we are starting from the same place. GMO genes are not artificial. They are already found in nature. Bt genes, for example, are genes found in the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, which are ubiquitous around the world. (Smart organic farmers have been applying these... Continue Reading


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