Pursuing truth and transparency for public health

About U.S. Right to Know

U.S. Right to Know is an 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 food system, our environment and our health.

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 three New York Times investigations; 10 academic papers; nine articles in the BMJ, one of the world’s top medical journals; and global media coverage documenting how food and chemical corporations work to protect their profits at the expense of public health and the environment.

Our investigations pose a powerful challenge to business as usual for the food and chemical industries. According to a Monsanto document revealed in 2019,  “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. U.S. Right to Know is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible.

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 began 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
Follow Gary on Twitter: @GaryRuskin

Stacy Malkan, Co-founder and Co-Director

Stacy is co-founder and co-director of U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit investigative research group focused on the food industry. She is the author of the award-winning book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society, 2007), and a co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of nonprofit health and environmental groups that inspired cosmetics companies to remove hazardous chemicals from nail polish, baby products, make-up and hair products. Stacy’s work has been published in Time magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, Nature Biotechnology and many other outlets and she has appeared 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 (now playing on Netflix). In 2012, Stacy served as media director for the historic California Right to Know ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods. 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 in environmental health, Stacy worked for eight years as a journalist and managing editor, and she published an investigative newspaper covering land use and environmental issues in Colorado. She lives in the 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 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

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

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

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).

Get the Right to Know Review

Subscribe to our newsletter for breaking news from the Right to Know investigations, the best public health journalism and more news for our health.