Independent Expert

Gregory Conko

Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Gregory Conko is a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where his research focuses on issues of food and pharmaceutical safety regulation and the general treatment of health risks in public policy. His particular interest is in the debate over the safety of biotechnology and bioengineered food. Conko is also co-founder and vice president of the Auburn, Alabama-based AgBioWorld Foundation, a nonprofit that provides information to teachers, journalists, policymakers and the public about developments in plant science, biotechnology and sustainable agriculture.

In addition to writing The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution, Conko has contributed to academic journals, newspaper articles and television and radio programs. He is a member of the board of scientific and policy advisors for the American Council on Science and Health and has been recognized by several organizations for his leadership in biotechnology. Conko received his JD from the George Mason University School of Law.

From this Expert

Posted On: Thursday, 9/05/2013 7:44 pm
A: To be successful, plant breeders must serve the needs of farmers, and their goal is to develop products that will perform well in the marketplace. Commercial breeders set out to produce varieties that will not only recover the costs associated with development, testing, and seeking regulatory approval, but also generate the profits that let them stay in business. Conducting the extensive testing needed to develop and secure approval for genetically engineered varieties is costly and time-... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/03/2013 9:43 am
A: Critics of biotechnology often ask: If genetic engineering is simply one of many tools for modifying plants at the genetic level and not fundamentally different from other breeding methods, why can new biotech varieties be patented?  The short answer is: Any new plant variety with a unique combination of traits can be patented, no matter what breeding method is used to develop it.  In fact, many more non-genetically engineered plant varieties have been patented than genetically... Continue Reading
Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 11:40 am
A: Some consumers wish to avoid foods with genetically engineered ingredients, so food producers have increasingly responded to this market demand by labeling food products that do not contain them. There are many thousands of voluntarily labeled, non-GE foods available in grocery stores throughout the country, in stores as varied as Whole Foods Markets and Walmart. From just 2000 to 2009, nearly 7,000 new food and beverage products were introduced in the United States with explicit non-GE... Continue Reading

Genetically Modified Foods Are as Safe as Conventional Ones

By Gregory Conko (Independent Expert) on Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 12:54

In this article, Gregory Conko explains how GM foods are just as safe as conventional. He also delves into the strict regulatory process for GM products as well as labelling, stating that the FDA provides more useful information than a mandatory GMO label would.
  • Science and GMO Basics
  • Labeling
  • Government Oversight and Product Approvals