Cathleen Enright

Former 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.

Cathleen Enright is no longer the Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information. Answers and content from Cathleen Enright were provided in her former capacity as Executive Director of the Council at Biotechnology Information.

From this Expert

Posted On: Tuesday, 5/06/2014 11:07 am
A: Could I begin by describing the labeling we support? When it comes to safeguarding your health and nutrition, we support the mandatory labeling of food, including GM food, if it raises a safety or health concern, for example, to alert sensitive populations to the potential presence of an allergen. We also support mandatory labeling of GM food if there is a change to the food’s composition, nutritional profile, taste or smell, or any other characteristic that would make it different from its... Continue Reading
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


What is the GMO industry trying to hide?

By Cathleen Enright (CBI) on Friday, February 27, 2015 - 15:58

  • Business Practices
.com/2015/events/event_IAP43132">http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP43132. Panel submissions are open to anyone interested in participating in the events – learn more about how panels are submitted here. http://support.sxsw.com/forums/22261746-PanelPicker 

Today, the Organic Consumers Association issued a statement (https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/gene-giants-kick-oca-sxsw-food-panel-discussion) saying that GMO Answers had ‘disinvited’ them from participating on our panel. To our knowledge, the OCA was never invited to speak on this panel - we have at no time had any contact with the OCA about this panel or participating on it. The first contact we had with the OCA about the panel was on March 3rd, when I spoke on the phone with Katherine Paul.  

Our panel submission was written and accepted as a two-person conversation with a moderator about “…what defines transparency, what’s widening the divide between those working for it, and the ways we can work together to achieving our common goal.” This panel was not proposed, or accepted, as a “…debate on the health and safety of genetically engineered crops or food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)”.  While we imagine this topic will come up during the conversation  – which we welcome - the topic of the panel is the search for common ground. 

While much of the OCA's post mischaracterizes the conversation I had with Katherine on March 3rd,  I do absolutely welcome a debate about the health and safety of GMOs with the OCA or anyone interested in having one. But at SXSW next week, I'm looking forward to having the discussion that was submitted and accepted by SXSW, with Ben & Jerry’s Social Activism Manager, Chris Miller, and moderated with Tamar Haspel of the Washington Post. I hope you’ll join us. 

– Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., executive director of Council for Biotechnology Information and head of GMO Answers