Pursuing truth and transparency for public health

About U.S. Right to Know

U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health. We are working globally to expose corporate wrongdoing and government failures that threaten the integrity of our health, our environment and our food system.

Since 2015, we have obtained, posted online and reported on thousands of industry and government documents, including many acquired through judicial enforcement of open records laws. Once-secret documents obtained by USRTK are now posted in the UCSF food and chemical industry documents libraries for free public access.

Our work has contributed to multiple New York Times investigations and global media coverage documenting how food and chemical corporations work to protect their profits at the expense of public health and the environment.  

USRTK was the first research group to bring to light important internal academic communications regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Society for Professional Journalists NorCal Chapter awarded USRTK with a 2020 James Madison Award for our FOI work.

Findings of the USRTK investigations have been reported by news outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The BMJ, Vanity Fair, Fox News, the Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Time magazine, Boston Globe, CBC, Politico, STAT, the Daily Mail, Sky News Australia and many others.

Our award-winning investigations pose a powerful challenge to the food and chemical industries, as acknowledged in a Monsanto document that noted:  “USRTK’s investigation will impact the entire industry.”

We hope you will support our right to know and help expand our investigations by donating today.

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Donors & IRS filings
Our major donors and IRS filings are available here.

Our Staff

Gary Ruskin, Executive Director and Co-founder

Gary Ruskin is executive director and co-founder of U.S. Right to Know.  Gary started doing public interest work in 1987. For fourteen years, he directed the Congressional Accountability Project, which opposed corruption in the U.S. Congress. For nine years, he was executive director and co-founder (with Ralph Nader) of Commercial Alert, which opposed the commercialization of every nook and cranny of our lives and culture.  In 2012, he was campaign manager for Proposition 37, a statewide ballot initiative for labeling of genetically engineered food in California. He was also director of the Center for Corporate Policy. He has authored or co-authored articles in the Washington PostLos Angeles TimesThe NationMotheringMultinational Monitor, Environmental Health News, Milbank QuarterlyJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Journal of Public Health Policy, Globalization and Health, Public Health Nutrition, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Critical Public Health and many others. In 2013, he wrote a report on corporate espionage against nonprofit organizations.  He received his undergraduate degree in religion from Carleton College, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also the father of a 14 year-old daughter and a 3 year-old son.

Contact Gary: gary@usrtk.org or garymruskin@protonmail.com
Follow Gary on Twitter: @GaryRuskin

Stacy Malkan, Co-founder and Managing Editor

Stacy Malkan is co-founder and managing editor of U.S. Right to Know. She began working on environmental health issues in 2001 and has researched food and agriculture, with a focus on agrichemical industry misinformation campaigns, since 2012. Stacy is author of the award-winning book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society, 2007), and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of health groups that exposed hazardous chemicals in nail polish, baby products, make-up and hair products and pressured companies to reformulate to safer products. Her work has been published in Time magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Nature Biotechnology and many other outlets. She has appeared in Teen VogueGood Morning America, Wall Street Journal, Democracy Now! and documentary films including The Human Experiment produced by Sean Penn, Pink Skies and Stink Movie (now playing on Netflix). Stacy was media director for the California Right to Know ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods. She is the former communications director for Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition of health groups working to transform health care so it is no longer a source of environmental harm. Prior to that role, she worked for a decade as a journalist, editor and newspaper publisher in Colorado. She now lives in the California Bay Area with her husband and son.

Contact Stacy: stacy@usrtk.org
Follow Stacy on Twitter: @StacyMalkan

Carey Gillam, Research Director

Carey Gillam is author of the award winning book, “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science” (Island Press, 2017) and The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man’s Search for Justice (Island Press, 2021). She a veteran journalist, researcher and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the news industry. Prior to joining U.S. Right to Know, Gillam spent 17 years as a senior correspondent for Reuters, an international news service. In that role, she specialized in coverage of food and agriculture with a particular focus on the rise of biotech crop technology, associated pesticide product development, and the environmental impacts of both, and she developed an in-depth knowledge of leading agrichemical companies that include Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, BASF, Bayer and Syngenta.

Gillam has been recognized as one of the top journalists in the country covering these issues and is frequently asked to speak on radio and television and to appear at conferences to share her knowledge of hotly debated issues involving food and agriculture.She resides in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and three children.

Contact Carey: carey@usrtk.org
Follow Carey on Twitter: @CareyGillam

Shannon Murray, Ph.D., Staff Scientist

As Staff Scientist at U.S. Right to Know, Dr. Shannon Murray brings extensive expertise in immunology, virology, infectious disease, and biosafety labs with over 20 years of experience in research and academia as an immunologist and virologist. She received her Ph.D. in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center from the University of Washington. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC), in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As an HIV researcher and viral immunologist, Shannon has authored or co-authored 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters published in the Journal of Virology, Frontiers in Immunology, Blood, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Viruses, and the Encyclopedia of AIDS, amongst others. Shannon was a scientific reviewer for the NIH; the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France); institutional biosafety committees; and peer-reviewed scientific journals including Viruses, Pathogens, and Frontiers in Microbiology. Shannon served as a guest associate editor for an edition on The Role of Dendritic Cells and Monocytes in HIV Infections in Frontiers in Immunology. Shannon was an assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University Cell Therapy Institute and a visiting professor at Bard College in the Citizen Science Program. 

Contact Shannon: shannon@usrtk.org or shannonmmurray@protonmail.com

Sainath Suryanarayanan, Ph.D., Staff Scientist

As Staff Scientist at U.S. Right to Know, Dr. Sainath Suryanarayanan brings depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the social studies of science and technology, insect biology, and molecular and cellular pharmacology. He is the lead author of Vanishing Bees: Science, Politics and Honeybee Health (Rutgers University Press, 2017). Drawing on extensive interviews, ethnographic research, and archival analysis, Vanishing Bees shows how historical interactions between entomologists in land grant universities, the US Department of Agriculture and agrichemical companies have shaped the contemporary terrains of knowledge and ignorance about the interplay between pesticides and honeybee health.  Sai’s contributions to debates about the politics of knowledge and ignorance, the place of non-scientists in knowledge production, and multispecies studies have appeared in multiple journals including Engaging Science Technology & Society, Environmental Humanities, The Guardian(UK), Social Studies of Science, and Science, Technology & Human Values. His current book project examines biobehavioral research on insect societies as a crucial ground for the development of theories and approaches concerning the constitution of society in the postgenomic era.

Contact Sai: sainath@usrtk.org
Follow Sai on Twitter: @sai_suryan

Abbe Hamilton, Investigative Reporter

Abbe Hamilton is an investigative reporter on the neonicotinoid pesticide beat. She earned a M.S. in Agronomy from Penn State University and a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Abbe co-authored studies on cover crops, agricultural weed management and food systems that were published in Weed Science and the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, among others. In her subsequent work as a Nutrient Management Specialist in Central Pennsylvania, she helped dairy and beef cattle farmers to complete soil and water conservation projects. Prior to joining U.S. Right to Know in 2021, Abbe was a journalist for two years in southern New Hampshire, during which she received multiple awards from the New Hampshire Press Association for health and general news reporting. Abbe lives in New Hampshire. In her free time, she’s usually outside, doing something that requires a helmet.

Contact Abbe: abbe@usrtk.org

Follow Abbe on Twitter: @AbbeHamilton

Becky Morrison, Researcher

As the investigator behind our soda and sugar industry research projects, Becky brings with her a wealth of experience advocating for a healthier and more transparent food system. A 2016 graduate of NYU’s Food Studies master’s program, her work has focused on legal and policy strategies aimed at curbing food marketing to kids and reducing diet-related disease, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages. Prior to joining USRTK, she worked at the New York State Attorney General’s office in the Bureau of Consumer Frauds, where she investigated the potentially deceptive marketing of child-targeted products. She also served as a Food Policy Fellow for New York City Council Member Ben Kallos. A former chef and caterer, Becky remains an avid home cook. She resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and seven-year-old son.

Contact Becky: becky@usrtk.org
Follow Becky on Twitter: @Beckymorr

Our Board of Directors

Charlie Cray

Charlie has been a member of Greenpeace USA’s research department since 2010. Between 1989 and 1999, he also worked with Greenpeace as a member of the Greenpeace Toxics Campaign, organizing campaigns to shut down toxic waste incinerators and phase out PVC plastics. Between 1999 and 2004, Charlie helped edit Multinational Monitor magazine and directed the Campaign for Corporate Reform at Citizen Works. He is the co-author of The People’s Business: Controlling Corporations and Restoring Democracy (Berrett-Koehler, 2003), as well as numerous environmental and corporate accountability articles, reports, and blogs. Between 2004 and 2010, Charlie directed the Center for Corporate Policy, researching and publishing numerous articles and reports about a variety of topics related to corporate power and accountability, including corporate tax dodging, executive compensation, contractor accountability and corporate crime. During that time he co-founded and helped maintain the watchdog web site, HalliburtonWatch.org, using it to press for government contractor accountability and reform. Charlie is a graduate of Amherst College.

Lisa Graves

Lisa is executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. She has served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government and other posts.

She has also worked as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy in the area of national security and as an adjunct law professor at one of the top law schools in the country. Her former leadership positions include:

  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy/Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice (handling an array of civil and criminal policy issues as well as leading the working group on judicial nominations — worked under both Attorneys General Janet Reno and John Ashcroft)
  • Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for the Chairman/Ranking Member
  • Senior Legislative Strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union (on national security and surveillance policies)
  • Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies
  • Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts (including oversight of the Financial Disclosure Office for judicial ethics)

Graves has testified as an expert witness on national security/homeland security and transparency issues before both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. She has also appeared as an expert on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, and other news programs and on numerous radio shows, including National Public Radio, Democracy Now!, Air America, and Pacifica Radio. Her analysis has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, National Journal, Legal Times, Newsday, and Wired, among others, as well as online in The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and other blogs. She has also helped with legal briefs and her analysis of national security issues has been published by the Texas Law Review and other publications. She was also the managing editor for the Clinton Administration’s National Integrated Firearms Violence Reduction Strategy.

Ben Lilliston

Ben Lilliston is the Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Rural Strategies and Climate Change at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Ben has been working and writing about international trade issues and how they intersect with U.S. agricultural policy since 2000, including multiple World Trade Organization ministerials, the passage of CAFTA, several Farm Bills and now current trade debates. He most recently authored the report, The Climate Cost of Free Trade. Other recent reports include: Big Meat Swallows the TPP and Unknown Benefits, Hidden Costs: Neonicotinoid Seed Coatings, Crop Yields and Pollinators. He was a contributor to the U.N. Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Trade and Environmental Review 2013, the book Mandate for Change (Lexington), and co-author of the book Genetically Engineered Foods: A Guide for Consumers (Avalon). He has worked as a researcher, writer and editor at a number of organizations including the Center for Study of Responsive Law, the Corporate Crime Reporter, Multinational Monitor, Cancer Prevention Coalition and Sustain. Ben has a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from University of Miami (Ohio).

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