Biotechnology Advocate Joins Institute

Biotechnology Advocate Joins Institute

March 26, 1999

Washington, DC, March 27, 1999 – The promise of biotechnology to produce new and better pharmaceuticals and crop plants is threatened by unfounded claims and politically motivated regulation here in the United States and around the world. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) endorses the promise of biotechnology and calls for its future to be guided by science, not politics. To that end, CEI is pleased to announce that Michael Gough, Ph.D., a former federal health official, has joined CEI to enhance its work in this area.

Dr. Gough comes to CEI with an enormous amount of experience in biotechnology and related scientific issues. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from Brown University, and taught microbiology at the Baylor University Medical School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Gough also served as manager of the Biological and Behavioral Sciences Program at the (now-defunct) congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Prior to coming to CEI, he worked at the Cato Institute as Director of Science and Risk Studies.

Dr. Gough has written numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, is the co-author, with Steven Milloy, of Silencing Science (Cato Institute 1998), and has been published in newspapers around the country, including The Washington Post, the Detroit News, The Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. He will provide key scientific support for CEI’s research, and will help advance the great promise of biotechnology in food production, medicine development, and environmental protection.

Just as biotechnology is beginning to blossom, politically motivated curbs on research and development are emerging to threaten its progress. "Genetic engineering holds enormous promise, and its products must be allowed to flourish in the same market environment as any other new products," commented Dr. Gough. CEI president Fred L. Smith, Jr. added, "Michael Gough’s work in this area will help make CEI the leading voice of free-market approaches to biotechnology."

CEI first became involved in biotechnology policy in the mid-1980’s. The Institute agrees with countless scientific organizations that the fact that a product is genetically engineered does not confer upon it new or specific risks. When evaluating biotech products, decisions should be based on the risk factors of certain product types, rather than on the technology used in their production.

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010.