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.
Studies, Articles and Answers
Showing 10 out of 40 results
Q: Why turn to this website? Asking questions here is the same as asking oil companies if fracking is bad. Not that I am for or against fracking but there is no integrity and objectivity in the Oil industry answering the question. You have decided on this
A: We don’t want to waste anyone’s time. For those who are interested, we developed this site to enable visitors to find out more about GMOs and―a key difference with this initiative―to facilitate the opportunity to ask their questions of well-respected experts―nutritionists, health providers, scientists and conventional and organic farmers who are freely sharing their knowledge and experience. Other than for space and ease of understanding, the answers will not be edited by us. If there are such edits, the experts always have final review. There is a large amount of misinformation on the Inter [...]Other
Q: One of the reasons for skepticism of assertions of GMO safety is that any negative results from safety trials can simply go unpublished. To what extent has that happened, and will you support full disclosure of all results?
A: We will not cut corners on safety and are committed to full disclosure of scientific research related to the health and safety of GM seeds. We are also required by law to provide information that is not favorable to our products. In submitting food safety information to the government for review, we cannot and would not pick and choose which research to present. During the development of a new GM seed, much of the research is conducted by independent third-party laboratories certified to conduct safety testing using protocols required by the government. If a study were ever t [...]GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made
A: Thank you for your question. Much of the research on GMOs is done by the companies themselves or by independent laboratories working under contract with the companies. In both cases, proper scientific procedures are followed. When studies are published in the scientific literature, they routinely include an explanation of the source of funding for the study and a note of any conflicts of interest that the authors may have. We certainly would not remove such information from our citations. The important thing about scientific research is that if it follows the proper, r [...]GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made
Q: How can you say GMO are the same as non GMO to get FDA approval, yet get a patent because they are different?? This screams government corruption and warrants an investigation on why this was approved.
A: There are two separate concepts here. Patents are sought to protect intellectual property and have been available on seeds and plants since the 1930s. These patents reflect the novel use of plant breeding, including genetic engineering techniques. They do not indicate that the food produced from those plants is somehow different from other varieties of the plant. FDA looks at the safety, nutrition and composition of a GM seed or crop, as compared with that of a non-GM seed or crop. FDA and food safety regulatory authorities around the world have determined that foods made with GM crops are as [...]Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made
A: The short answer is that the FDA does not require a label for GMO foods. The FDA has determined that: “…there is no significant difference between foods produced using bio-engineering, as a class, and their conventional counterparts.” Many other authorities agree. For example, the American Medical Association stated in June 2012: “There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education.” The American Association for the Advancemen [...]GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling
Q: Why do you spend millions of dollars opposing GMO labeling? Aren't you proud of your products? Please don't give the excuse that it will cost consumers more for labeling either - you have raised your seed prices over 230%.
A: As believers in GM technology, and having seen the benefits nurture farmers and society alike, we are proud―in fact, you’ll see many of our accomplishments under “GMOs and the Future of Agriculture." And you’ll find no excuses here―just our attempt at a straightforward response to a good question. 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 wis [...]GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling
Q: My question pertains to labeling. Why aren't GMO ingredients listed on labels in the same manner as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, etc? Whether I approve of these ingredients is not so much the point as is having the freedom to choose.
A: I support your (and my) freedom to choose, but because neither safety nor health is a concern related to GM foods on the market, I support voluntary, market-based labeling of food for the presence or absence of GMOs. As indicated in previously answered questions, while FDA requires food manufacturers to list all ingredients in a food on the product label, it does not require food to be labeled based on the production method used to grow the crop that food manufacturers will use in their food products. This is because regardless of the method used to modify the genetic makeup of a [...]GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling
Q: There is a huge orange crisis going on right now with a bacteria that is stunting the orange growth. Are the major biotech companies looking into creating a GM orange to fight this bacteria and crisis?
A: The companies that support GMO Answers are not directly involved in the Florida orange crisis. However, here is an article from the New York Times that explores this issue. I think you will find it interesting: Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida Groves. [...]GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made
A: This and related questions about labeling are great questions. We are often accused of being against labeling. We are not. Let’s address seed labeling first. We support farmers’ right to choose the seeds that are the best fit for their individual farms. The individual GM seed products sold by our companies (we sell conventional and organic seeds, too) are clearly identified as containing GM traits, and farmers choose and are aware of the type of product they are buying. They even enter into a contract and pay a premium if they choose to buy GM seed. Our hope is that efforts s [...]GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling
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 few bans in place for the import of specific GM foods, but these restrictions are based on non-scienti [...]Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made