U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit organization working for transparency and accountability in our nation’s food system. We research what goes on behind the scenes in the food industry. Our findings have been used by policymakers, journalists, researchers and organizers around the world.
- Investigative stories in the New York Times, BMJ, the Guardian, Le Monde, Bloomberg, Boston Globe, Time and many other outlets have reported on the behind-the-scenes lobby and PR operations of the food and chemical industries, based on our documents.
- Articles in public health journals have revealed the tactics the soda industry uses to oppose public health efforts and spin the obesity crisis.
- Many of our documents are now available via the UCSF Chemical Industry Documents Archive.
At U.S. Right to Know, we strive to illuminate issues important to consumers. We stand up for the right to know what is in our food, and how it affects our health. We believe that transparency – in the marketplace and in politics – is crucial to building a better, healthier food system. We believe that, together, we can create a food system that makes us healthy and strong, one that works better for all of us, our children, families, other loved ones, communities and our nation.
You can help. If you have extra time, please volunteer. If you have extra money, please donate. If you are a whistleblower or know of any food scandals, send us your documents and tell us what you know. Thank you.
Donors & IRS filings
Our major donors and IRS filings are available here.
Gary Ruskin, Co-founder and Co-Director
Gary first started working on food issues in 1998. In 2000, he helped to build the first national coalition against the marketing and sale of soda and junk food in schools. In 2003, he organized a Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda for states and schools, endorsed by organizations across the political spectrum. In 2004, he organized a global effort to ban the marketing of junk food to children. 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, Gary was campaign manager for California Right to Know (Proposition 37), a statewide ballot initiative for labeling of genetically engineered food in California. He was also director of the Center for Corporate Policy. Over the years, he has tangled with many corporate lobbyists, including the infamous Jack Abramoff. He has often been quoted in major newspapers across the country and has appeared scores of times on national TV news programs. His articles have been published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Progressive, Mothering, Multinational Monitor, the Journal of Public Health Policy, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Critical Public Health, Environmental Health News and many others. 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 11 year-old daughter and a newborn son.
Stacy Malkan, Co-founder and Co-Director
Stacy is author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society, 2007) that has been translated into four languages, and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of nonprofit health and environmental groups that pressured major cosmetics manufacturers to remove hazardous ingredients from nail polish, baby products, make-up and hair products. Stacy’s articles have been published in Time, New York Times, Washington Post, Nature Biotechnology and many other outlets and her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Good Morning America, Democracy Now and several documentary films including The Human Experiment produced by Sean Penn, Pink Skies and Stink Movie. Stacy was named “one of five visionaries leading the charge to better health,” by Experience Life Magazine and “one of seven powerful women in the natural beauty industry,” by New Hope. In 2012, Stacy was media director for the historic California Right to Know ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods, and she is the former communications director for Health Care Without Harm, which got mercury out of hospitals and closed down medical waste incinerators around the world. Prior to her work as an environmental health advocate, Stacy worked as a journalist and published an investigative newspaper.
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 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.
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 New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’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 six-year-old son.
Our Board of Directors
Juliet Schor, Chair
Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women’s Studies. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts.
Her most recent book is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth. She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure and The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need. Schor also wrote Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. She is the author of Do Americans Shop Too Much?, co-editor of Consumer Society: A Reader and co-editor of Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the Twenty-first Century. Schor’s scholarly articles have appeared in the Economic Journal, The Review of Economics and Statistics, World Development, Industrial Relations, The Journal of Economic Psychology, Ecological Economics, The Journal of Industrial Ecology, Social Problems and other journals. In addition to the foregoing, Schor is a co-founder of the South End Press and the Center for Popular Economics. She is a former Trustee of Wesleyan University, an occasional faculty member at Schumacher College, and a former fellow of the Brookings Institution. She appears frequently on national and international media, and profiles on her and her work have appeared in scores of magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and People magazine. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show on CBS, numerous stories on network news, as well as many other national and local television news programs.
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 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.