Pursuing Truth and Transparency in America's Food System

Our Investigations

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U.S. Right to Know is conducting an investigation of the food and agrichemical industries, and the secrets they are hiding about our food. Our findings so far – including tens of thousands of documents received via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – offer a rare look behind the scenes at how the food and chemical corporations, their front groups, PR operatives and academics work together to promote industry propaganda

You can follow our findings here.  Sign up for regular updates here. See also, Top Findings of the USRTK Investigations. 

We believe that transparency – in the marketplace, politics and media – is crucial to building a better, healthier food system. Please consider making a donation to help us expand our investigation.

Findings of the U.S. Right to Know investigation by topic:

Coca-Cola Company

  • New York Times: New C.D.C. Chief Saw Coca-Cola as Ally in Obesity Fight
  • The Intercept: Trump’s New CDC Chief Championed Partnership with Coca Cola to Solve Childhood Obesity
  • Forbes: The Coca-Cola Network: Soda Giant Mines Connections with Officials and Scientists to Wield Influence
  • Forbes: Trump’s Pick to Head CDC Partnered With Coke, Boosting Agency’s Longstanding Ties to Soda Giant
  • BMJ: Coca-Cola’s Secret Influence on Medical and Science Journalists
  • USRTK news release: BMJ Reveals Secret Industry Funding, based on USRTK documents
  • USRTK short report: Journalists Fail to Reveal Sources Funded by Coca-Cola

Coke’s Influence at U.S. Centers for Disease Control 

  • The Intercept: Trump’s New CDC Chief Championed Partnership with Coca-Cola to Solve Childhood Obesity
  • BMJ: Conflicts of interest compromise US public health agency’s mission, say scientists
  • USRTK: Top scientists at CDC complain of corporate influence, unethical practices
  • San Diego Union Tribune: UCSD Hires Coke-Funded Health Researcher
  • The Hill: What is Going On at CDC? Health Agency Needs Scrutiny
  • USRTK: ILSI Wields Stealthy Influence for the Food and Agrichemical Industries
  • USRTK: More Coca-Cola Ties Seen Inside US Centers for Disease Control
  • USRTK: CDC Official Exits Agency After Coca-Cola Connections Come to Light
  • USRTK: Beverage Industry Finds Friend Inside U.S. Health Agency

Glyphosate

  • USRTK: MDL Monsanto Glyphosate Cancer Case Key Documents and Analysis
  • Le Monde: «Monsanto papers»: la guerre du géant des pesticides contre la science
  • Le Monde: «Monsanto Papers»: la bataille de l’information
  • Huffington Post: Moms Exposed to Monsanto Weed Killer Means Bad Outcomes for Babies
  • Huffington Post: USDA Drops Plans to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food
  • USRTK fact sheet: Glyphosate: Health Concerns About the Most Widely Used Pesticide
  • Huffington Post: Monsanto Weed Killer Deserves Deeper Scrutiny as Scientific Manipulation Revealed
  • USRTK: Questions about Monsanto, EPA Collusion Raised in Cancer Lawsuits
  • Huffington Post: Monsanto’s Mind Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear
  • USRTK: Monsanto and EPA Want to Keep Talks Secret on Glyphosate Cancer Review
  • The Hill: Serious Scrutiny Needed a EPA Seeks Input on Cancer Ties to Monsanto Herbicide
  • USRTK: New Data on Pesticides in Food Raises Safety Questions
  • USRTK: FDA Suspends Testing for Glyphosate in Food
  • USRTK: More Bad News for Honey as US Seeks to Get Handle on Glyphosate Residues in Food
  • The Hill: Bully Monsanto Attacks Scientists Who Link Glyphosate and Cancer
  • Huffington Post: EPA Bows to Chemical Industry Pressure in Glyphosate Review
  • USRTK: Upcoming EPA Meetings On Glyphosate Drawing Scrutiny
  • USRTK: FDA Tests Confirm Oatmeal, Baby Food Contain Monsanto Weedkiller
  • Huffington Post: USRTK Investigation Reveals FDA Found Glyphosate in Honey
  • USRTK: Glyphosate Revolution is Growing, and Consumers Want Answers
  • LeMonde: La discrete influence de Monsanto
  • Guardian: UN/WHO Panel in Conflict of Interest Row over Glyphosate Cancer Risk
  • Die Zeit: Glyphosat: Möglicher Interessenskonflikt bei Pflanzenschutzmittel-Bewertung
  • Horticulture Week: Questions Raised Over Independence of Panel that Found Glyphosate Safe
  • ARD: Experten werfen Fachgremium Wirtschaftsnähe vor
  • USRTK: Conflicts of Interest Concerns Cloud Glyphosate Review
  • USRTK News Release: FDA Plan to Measure Weed Killer Residues Only a First Step
  • USRTK News Release: USDA Avoids Analyzing Glyphosate in Food Residues for Annual Report

Academics and Universities Linked to Corporations

Our investigation has uncovered secret financial arrangements and close collaborations between corporations, their PR firms and supposedly “independent” academics who promote corporate interests.  These revelations were first covered in a front-page story in The New York Times by two-time Pulitzer Prizer winner Eric Lipton.

Kevin Folta, University of Florida

Bruce Chassy, University of Illinois

  • Huffington Post: Monsanto’s Fingerprints Found All Over Attack on Organic Food
  • WBEZ: Why Didn’t an Illinois Professor Have to Disclose GMO Funding
  • USRTK: Following an Email Trail: How a Public University Professor Collaborated on a Corporate PR Campaign
  • USRTK News Release: New Documents Uncover Monsanto’s Secret Role in Bruce Chassy’s Academics Review
  • Mother Jones: Emails Show Monsanto Leaning on Professors to Fight the GMO PR War
  • New York Times: Food Industry Enlisted Academics in GMO Labeling War
  • Chassy emails posted by The New York Times
  • USRTK Short Report: Journalists Failed to Disclose Sources’ Funding from Monsanto

Jon Entine, Genetic Literacy Project, former visiting fellow UC Davis

  • Fact Sheet: Jon Entine, the Chemical Industry’s Master Messenger
  • Le Monde: «Monsanto Papers»: la bataille de l’information
  • Le Monde: Opération intoxication : les réseaux de Monsanto
  • The Ecologist: ‘Pro Science’ GMO, Chemical Pushers Funded by Climate Science Deniers
  • News Release: Group Calls on Jon Entine to Reveal Funding Ties to Industry
  • Bloomberg: How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMO
  • Polluter Watch: Jon Entine

Trevor Butterworth, Sense About Science USA, visiting fellow Cornell Alliance for Science

  • The Intercept: How Self Appointed Guardians of ‘Sound Science’ Tip the Scales to Industry
  • Fact Sheet: Trevor Butterworth Spins Science for Industry
  • BMJ: Author’s reply, Coca Cola’s secret influence on medical and science journalists
  • The Ecologist: ‘Pro Science’ GMO, Chemical Pushers Funded by Climate Science Deniers

Henry Miller, Hoover Institution

  • Fact Sheet: Why You Can’t Trust Henry Miller
  • Le Monde: «Monsanto Papers»: la bataille de l’information
  • The Ecologist: ‘Pro Science’ GMO, Chemical Pushers Funded by Climate Science Deniers
  • Fact Sheet: Julie Kelly Cooks Up Propaganda for the Agrichemical Industry

Calestous Juma, Harvard University

  • Boston Globe: Harvard Professor Failed to Disclose Monsanto Connection in GMO Paper
  • Harvard Crimson: Prof Failed To Disclose Connection to Company in Paper

Cornell Alliance for Science & Gates Foundation

  • Fact Sheet: Cornell Fellow Trevor Butterworth Spins Science for Chemical, Food Industries
  • The Ecologist: Why is Cornell University Hosting a GMO Propaganda Campaign?
  • The Ecologist: Bill Gates: Can We Have an Honest Conversation about GMOs?
  • USRTK News Release: Gates Foundation Funds GMO Propaganda Campaign at Cornell

James Hill & John Peters, University of Colorado, Denver (Anschutz Health and Wellness Center)

  • BMJ: Coca-Cola’s Secret Influence on Medical and Science Journalists
  • USRTK news release: BMJ Reveals Secret Industry Funding, based on USRTK documents
  • STAT: Disney, Fearing a Scandal, Tried to Press Journal to Withdraw Research Paper
  • Orlando Sentinel: Disney Nutrition Study Underscores Controversy in Corporate-Funded Research
  • USRTK Short Report: Journalists Fail to Reveal Sources Funded by Coca-Cola

Richard Goodman, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

  • Le Monde: La Discrète Influence de Monsanto
  • USRTK: Keeping Secrets from Consumers: Labeling Law a Win for Industry-Academic Collaborations

Peter Phillips, University of Saskatchewan

  • CBC: U of S Defends Prof’s Monsanto Ties, But Some Faculty Disagree
  • CBC: University of Saskatchewan Prof Under Fire for Monsanto Ties
  • Saskatoon Star Phoenix: Group Questions U of S Prof’s Monsanto Link

David Shaw, Mississippi State University

Steven N. Blair, University of South Carolina

Industry PR & Front Groups

Fact Sheets

American Council on  Science and Health (ACSH)

  • Le Monde: Opération intoxication : les réseaux de Monsanto
  • News Release: Public Interests Groups to USA Today: Ditch Columns by ACSH
  • Fact Sheet: Why You Can’t Trust the American Council on Science and Health
  • Alternet: USA Today Fail: Trump Science Article Written by Corporate Front Group

GMO Answers 

  • USRTK: The GMO Industry Doesn’t Want You To See This Video
  • USRTK: GMO Answers is a Marketing and PR Website for GMO Companies
  • News Release: US Right to Know FOIA’s Profs Who Wrote for GMO PR Website

International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) 

  • Fact Sheet: ILSI Wields Stealthy Influence for the Food and Agrichemical Industries
  • The Hill: What is Going On at CDC? Health Agency Needs Scrutiny
  • USRTK: More Coca-Cola Ties Seen Inside US Centers for Disease Control
  • USRTK: CDC Official Exits Agency After Coca-Cola Connections Come to Light
  • USRTK: Beverage Industry Finds Friend Inside U.S. Health Agency
  • Guardian: UN/WHO Panel in Conflict of Interest Row over Glyphosate Cancer Risk
  • Die Zeit: Glyphosat: Möglicher Interessenskonflikt bei Pflanzenschutzmittel-Bewertung
  • Horticulture Week: Questions Raised Over Independence of Panel that Found Glyphosate Safe
  • ARD: Experten werfen Fachgremium Wirtschaftsnähe vor
  • USRTK: Conflicts of Interest Concerns Cloud Glyphosate Review

Ketchum PR 

  • Fact Sheet: Ketchum: The Agrichemical Industry’s PR Firm
  • Video: Ketchum Brags How it Spins the Media on GMO Issues
  • Huffington Post: Ketchum PR Firm Attacks Organic Food, Then Pitches Itself to Organic Companies

Government Agencies

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • BMJ: Conflicts of interest compromise US public health agency’s mission, say scientists
  • USRTK: Scientists Lodge Ethics Complaint Over Corporate Influence at CDC
  • The Hill: What is Going on at the CDC? Health Agency Ethics Need Scrutiny
  • USRTK: More Coca-Cola Ties Seen Inside US Centers for Disease Control
  • USRTK: CDC Official Exits Agency After Coca-Cola Connections Come to Light
  • USRTK: Beverage Industry Finds Friend Inside U.S. Health Agency

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  • USRTK: New Data on Pesticides in Food Raises Safety Questions
  • USRTK: FDA Suspends Testing for Glyphosate in Food
  • USRTK: More Bad News for Honey as US Seeks to Get Handle on Glyphosate Residues in Food
  • USRTK: FDA Tests Confirm Oatmeal, Baby Foods Contain Residues of Monsanto’s Weedkiller
  • USRTK: FOIA Documents Reveal FDA Found Monsanto Weedkiller in U.S. Honey Samples
  • The Hill: How U.S. Government Agencies Cheat the Public on FOIA
  • USRTK News Release: FDA Plan to Measure Weed Killer Residues Only a First Step

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Huffington Post: USDA Drops Plans to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

  • USRTK: MDL Monsanto Glyphosate Cancer Case Key Documents and Analysis
  • Huffington Post: Monsanto Weed Killer Deserves Deeper Scrutiny as Scientific Manipulation Revealed
  • USRTK: Questions about Monsanto, EPA Collusion Raised in Cancer Lawsuits
  • USRTK: Monsanto and EPA Want to Keep Talks Secret on Glyphosate Cancer Review
  • The Hill: Serious Scrutiny Needed a EPA Seeks Input on Cancer Ties to Monsanto Herbicide
  • USRTK: EPA Bows to Chemical Industry Pressure in Glyphosate Review
  • USRTK: Upcoming EPA Meetings On Glyphosate Drawing Scrutiny

Disney Corporate Funded Food Research

  • STAT: Disney, Fearing a Scandal, Tried to Press Journal to Withdraw Research Paper
  • Orlando Sentinel: Disney Nutrition Study Underscores Controversy in Corporate-Funded Research
  • Inverse: Disney Parks Study Shows Problems with Corporate Science, Not Hot Dogs
  • Marion Nestle: Strange story of my accepted but yet-to-be-published commentary on Disney-sponsored study gets stranger

Synthetic Biology

  • Huffington Post: GMOs 2.0 Coming Your Way: Will They Be Labeled? Q&A with Consumers Union Senior Scientist Michael Hansen on synthetic biology, GMOs 2.0, labeling and the future of food
  • Huffington Post: Meet the New Stevia: Synthetic Biology GMOs 2.0 Get Dressed for Success

Reporters and Media

  • BMJ: Coca-Cola’s secret influence on medical and science journalists
  • USRTK press release: BMJ reveals secret industry funding of reporting, based on USRTK documents
  • USRTK: Journalists Fail to Reveal Sources Funded by Coca-Cola
  • USRTK: Journalists Failed to Disclose Sources’ Funding From Monsanto

Keith Kloor

Tamar Haspel

  • FAIR: Buckraking on the Food Beat: When Is It a Conflict of Interest?
  • FAIR: Washington Post’s Food Columnist Goes to Bat for Monsanto
  • USRTK: Journalists Mentioned in Our FOIA Requests

Amy Harmon

  • USRTK: Journalists Mentioned in Our FOIA Requests

Reports

  • Seedy Business: What Big Food is Hiding with its Slick PR Campaign on GMOs
  • Spinning Food: How Food Industry Front Groups and Covert Communications are Shaping the Story of Food

Right to Know Review Newsletter

On Freedom of Information and Disclosure  

The Hill: How Freedom Falls: Broken FOIA Far From Healing as US Agencies Cheat Public

Los Angeles Times: In Science, Follow the Money – If You Can 

New York Times: Scientists, Give Up Your Emails

Nature Biotechnology: Standing Up for Transparency

Ralph Nader: Monsanto and its Promoters vs. Freedom of Information

U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy. We promote the free market principle of transparency is crucial to building a better, healthier food system. Please donate to support our work here, and sign up to receive our newsletter for regular updates on our investigation.