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, 8/02/2013 4:38 pm
A: The reasons for moving beyond traditional plant breeding to genetic modification in plant breeding are many:  Help Farmers: The first wave of commercialized GM seeds was developed to help farmers improve their ability to control weeds and reduce crop damage from diseases, insects and drought―i.e., for agronomic improvements.  These helped reduce the impact of agriculture on their local environment and reduce their costs. Improve Nutrition:Soon after and continuing... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/02/2013 1:07 pm
A: Thanks for your questions. I answered them in reverse order. We launched GMO Answers to provide one place where anyone could find information or ask questions about GMOs. Some of the information is ours―for example, the facts that are presented in our Explore the Basics section. However, you’ll also see reference to peer-reviewed “solid science” and answers from independent, third-party experts in response to the scientific questions we are being asked. We aren’t trying to... Continue Reading
Posted On: Thursday, 8/01/2013 10:42 am
A: I'm aware of only one country, Kenya, with a ban in place on GM food imports. The decision came about in November 2012, apparently during a cabinet meeting, and circumvented the existing Kenyan Biosafety Act and the National Biosafety Authority, the regulatory agency established to regulate the use of GMOs. Every other country that has a regulatory system in place for GMOs allows GMOs to be imported for food and animal feed, including the European Union (EU), which has a thorough and... Continue Reading
Posted On: Thursday, 8/01/2013 9:24 am
A: You are likely referring to Michael R. Taylor, a lawyer who is currently deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Taylor has spent most of his career of more than 35 years as a public official or college professor, and spent about 16 months working for Monsanto, a biotechnology company. Opponents of biotechnology often raise the fact that some former EPA, FDA and USDA employees have gone to work for biotech companies,... Continue Reading
Posted On: Thursday, 8/01/2013 9:17 am
A: We've received other questions similar to yours, and this is one misperception that we would like to correct. None of our companies has ever sued a farmer when trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits were present in the farmer’s field as an accident or as a result of inadvertent means―such as through cross-pollination. Additional responses that address similar topics can be found here: If I am an organic farmer, and GMO technology contaminates my crops, do I have any recourse?... Continue Reading


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