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
Q: Why are GMO companies against labeling GMO foods? -- Submitted as Part of GMO Answers' Top Consumer Questions Survey --
Posted On: Tuesday, 5/06/2014 11:07 am
Answered By: Cathleen Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, Tuesday, 5/06/2014 11:09 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
Q: Why is there such pushback from large GMO companies like the ones involved in this page against GMO labeling?
Posted On: Sunday, 2/16/2014 10:40 am
Answered By: Cathleen Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, Friday, 3/14/2014 6:05 pm
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
Q: General Mills announced Cheerios will now have a nonGMO version. What is the GMO industrys response to this news?
Posted On: Tuesday, 1/07/2014 10:01 am
Answered By: Cathleen Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, Tuesday, 1/14/2014 5:01 pm
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
Answered By: Cathleen Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, Friday, 9/06/2013 5:07 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
Q: I often hear the claim that there are X number of countries that ban GMOs (GM food), the numbers fluctuate through a wide range.My questions are:Which, if any, countries completely ban all aspects of GM food?Which countries have severe restrictions...
Posted On: Saturday, 8/17/2013 6:09 pm
Answered By: Cathleen Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, Wednesday, 11/27/2013 6:57 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