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: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 11:15 pm
A: Our companies spend many years studying the food and environmental safety of our products. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. So, too, are accusations about bribery.  I appreciate your question, however, as it gives us an opportunity to refute misinformation about our industry that has thrived for years online and in social media. One of the reasons we launched GMO Answers is to provide factual answers to questions about our companies and our products.  We are... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 10:59 pm
A: We agree with you completely—let the market decide.  Efforts to pass laws that require labeling of any foods, including those made with GMOs, are inconsistent with the market's “dictating what it wants.” Rather, it’s using the legislative process to try to gain an advantage in the marketplace. We are often accused of being against labeling.  We are not.  If any food, including GM food, presented a safety risk to a certain population—for example, those allergic to a food... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 10:28 pm
A: We oppose mandatory labeling of GM food because we believe such a label would convey to consumers that food made from farmers’ crops grown with our seeds is less safe or nutritious than or different from conventional or organic food.  A 2013 study conducted by an MIT professor indicated that this indeed would be the case [see "Policy and Inference: The Case of Product Labeling"]. We support consumers' right to know about the food that they are choosing, but in the absence of any food... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 8:13 pm
A: Thank you for this question. I am very glad you asked it.  We absolutely do support the right of consumers to choose food that is healthy and nutritious.  And although we do not sell food products directly to consumers, we support food companies’ decisions to voluntarily label food products for the presence or absence of GMOs, so consumers who wish to can choose food that is not made with GM ingredients. Some companies have opted to use such voluntarily labels such as “USDA Organic... Continue Reading
Posted On: Monday, 7/29/2013 9:43 pm
A: I believe Monsanto has already corrected myths about its desire to “control the world’s food”  supply, so I’ll focus on the issues of banning and labeling. I’m aware of only one country, Kenya, with a ban in place on all 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.  There are a... Continue Reading


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