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: 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
Posted On: Sunday, 8/11/2013 9:35 am
A: Before answering your question, I think it’s important to place the reference you provided from mercola.com, an alternative medicine website business, into context. Mercola.com is owned by Joseph Mercola, who has been the subject of criticism for years by the regulatory, medical and scientific communities for making unsubstantiated claims about the ability of the products he sells to detect, prevent and treat disease. He warns parents not to vaccinate their children, advises women not to get... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/10/2013 7:57 pm
A: No, I am not aware of any subsidies from the U.S. government which are given to biotech companies. Our companies do compete for grants, but those opportunities are more limited than what’s available to public institutions or small businesses. The U.S. government also provides grants to academic and research institutions for public research projects on agricultural technologies. In fact, it’s all public record.  For instance, you can research the USDA National Institute of Food and... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/09/2013 2:54 am
A: Actually, there is no scientific definition of organic food.  The National Organic Program (NOP) is a marketing program that certifies that the crop has been produced using a specific set of legally defined methods and products approved by that program.  There are standards that must be followed in organic production.  These standards allow for the use of program-approved herbicides and pesticides, required certain agricultural practices be followed and require completion... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/09/2013 2:30 am
A: I believe your question is asking about cultivation of GMOs. As you may know, there are very few bans in place for GMOs including bans for cultivation.  In most countries, where there are differences in the number of approvals for the importation of GMOs for food and feed use and approvals for cultivation use, governments simply have not yet approved various GMO crops for cultivation.  This is largely because either the developer of the GMO seed has not sought/is not interested... Continue Reading


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