Paraquat Papers – Updates to U.S. litigation

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Multiple lawsuits are pending in the United States against Syngenta alleging the weedkilling chemical paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease.

A notice of settlement was filed June 18, 2021 for several paraquat cases. See this document.

But more than 400 lawsuits are pending.

The lawsuits name Syngenta as well as Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Growmark Inc. as defendants. Chevron distributed and sold Gramoxone paraquat product in the United States in an agreement with a Syngenta predecessor called Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), which introduced paraquat-based Gramoxone in 1962. Under a license agreement, Chevron had the right to to manufacture, use, and sell paraquat formulations in the U.S.

Lawyers around the United States are advertising for plaintiffs, seeking to draw in thousands of people who’ve been exposed to paraquat and now suffer from Parkinson’s.

Here is a list of actions pending through Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings (JCCP) as of Aug. 2, 2021

  • Harker v. Syngenta, et al. Case No. CGC-21-589755 (San Francisco Superior Court) (coordinated June 11, 2021)
  • De La Vega v. Syngenta, et al. Case No. C21-01057. (Contra Costa Superior Court) (coordinated July 19, 2021)
  • Louis Lombardo v. Syngenta et al., Alameda County Superior Court; Case No. RG21100757, filed on May 26, 2021 (coordinated July 19, 2021)
  • Lonnie Owens et al. v. Syngenta et al., Contra Costa Superior Court; Case No. C21-01187, filed on June 4, 2021 (coordinated July 19, 2021)
  • Borrelli v. Syngenta AG, et al. (Case No. MSC21-01217), filed June 24, 2021 in Contra Costa County Superior Court (coordinated July 23, 2021)
  • Isaak v. Syngenta AG, et al., San Francisco Superior Court; Case No. CGC-21591254 (coordinated August 2, 2021)
  • Rubino v. Syngenta, et al., Contra Costa County Superior Court Case No. C2101422 (coordinated August 2, 2021)
  • Aguiar v. Syngenta, et al. Case No. C21-01373. (Contra Costa Superior Court) (coordinated August 2, 2021)

Multidistrict litigation

On April 7, 2021, the Fears Nachawati Texas-based law firm filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington, D.C., asking that pending paraquat lawsuits be consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of California, the same federal court where Roundup litigation was consolidated. The case with the judicial panel is MDL No. 3004. The panel hearing on the matter was May 27 and on June 7, the panel approved the formation of the paraquat multidistrict litigation, assigning it to Judge  Nancy J. Rosenstengel in the Southern District of Illinois.

Additionally, a class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in Iowa on May 3. The suit seeks “equitable relief in the form of medical monitoring, including, but not limited to, the costs of diagnostic testing” for farmers and others exposed to paraquat who are allegedly at “increased risk” for Parkinson’s, according to the legal filing.

At least 87 lawsuits were pending within the MDL as of October 25, 2021.

Science

Several scientific studies have linked paraquat to Parkinson’s, including a large study of U.S. farmers jointly overseen by multiple U.S. government agencies.  Farmers use paraquat in the production of many crops, including corn, soy and cotton. The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) said it found that “exposure to agricultural pesticides may increase a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.” In 2011, AHS researchers reported that “participants who used paraquat or rotenone were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as people who didn’t use these chemicals.”

A more recent paper from AHS researchers stated that “Extensive literature suggests an association between general pesticide use and Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, with few exceptions, little is known about associations between specific pesticides and PD.”

Parkinson’s is an incurable progressive nervous system disorder that limits a person’s ability to control movement, causing tremors, loss of balance and eventually often leaving victims bedridden and/or bound to a wheelchair. The disease is not necessarily fatal but typically becomes severely debilitating.

Dutch neurologist Bastiaan Bloem, who recently authored a book about Parkinson’s, blames widespread exposure to herbicides such as paraquat, along with other toxic chemicals used in agriculture and manufacturing, for the spread of the disease.

Acutely Toxic 

Along with fears about links between paraquat and Parkinson’s, paraquat is also known to be an extremely acutely toxic chemical that can quickly kill people who ingest very small amounts. In Europe, the sale of paraquat has been banned since 2007, but in the United States the pesticide is sold as a “Restricted Use Pesticide” due to “acute toxicity.”

As part of discovery in the Parkinson’s litigation, lawyers have obtained internal records from Syngenta and its predecessor corporate entities dating back to the 1960s. Many of these documents are sealed, but some have started to come to light.

Those unsealed discovery documents, which include copies of letters, minutes of meetings, study summaries, and emails, are being made available on this page.

Most of the documents unsealed to date deal with corporate discussions about how to keep paraquat herbicides on the market despite its deadliness, through measures designed to reduce accidental poisonings. Specifically, many of the documents detail an internal corporate struggle over the addition of an emetic, a vomit-inducing agent, to paraquat products.  Today, all Syngenta paraquat-containing products include an emetic called “PP796.”  Liquid paraquat-containing formulations from Syngenta also include a stenching agent to produce a foul odor, and a blue dye to differentiate the dark-colored herbicide from tea or cola or other beverages.

EPA Review 

Paraquat recently underwent the EPA’s registration review process,  and on August 2, 2021 the agency said paraquat would remain on the market with new safety measures aimed at reducing farmworker exposures. That followed the Oct. 23, 2020 release of a proposed interim decision (PID) for paraquat.  The interim decision proposed mitigation measures to reduce human health and ecological risks identified in the agency’s 2019 draft human health and ecological risk assessments.

Several organizations in September 2021 petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for the court to review and set aside the EPA’s decision. The petitioners include the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Farmworker Association of Florida, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Farmworker Justice, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Pesticide Action Network North America, Center for Biological Diversity, and Toxic Free North Carolina. The groups claim the EPA is violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

The EPA had indicated it would likely ban most aerial spraying of paraquat, but after industry lobbying efforts, the agency said it would allow such use with restrictions around residential areas.

The EPA said that through collaboration with the National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the agency completed a “thorough review” of the scientific information on paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease and concluded that the weight of evidence was insufficient to link paraquat to Parkinson’s disease. The agency published this “Systematic Review of the Literature to Evaluate the Relationship between Paraquat Dichloride Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease.”

In finding no evidence of a connection between paraquat and Parkinson’s, the EPA relied in part on input from the Agricultural Handler Exposure Task Force (AHETF),  a group that includes large agrochemical companies such as Syngenta AG, Bayer, Dow/Corteva, and others.

USRTK will add documents to this page as they become available.

Why we are suing the NIH for Covid-19 information

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A year ago, a fearful world was struggling to emerge from a paralyzing pandemic, a confusing health care crisis that emerged swiftly to sicken and kill millions.

Today, nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, we are still struggling to find our way back from the catastrophic global consequences of the vicious coronavirus. And we are still without answers as to how and why this virus emerged seemingly out of nowhere. Scientists around the world have been seeking answers about the origin of Covid-19 because knowing how this virus moved into and through the human population could be crucial to avoiding, or preparing for, a similar event in the future.

That is why our nonprofit research group U.S. Right to Know has filed seventeen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), asking this taxpayer-funded government agency to provide us – and the public – with correspondence, reports, and other information about the NIH knowledge of, and response to, the pandemic.

As a public interest group, our mission is focused on a fundamental tenet: Our government officials work for us, and we have a right to know what that work entails. That belief is not just sentiment; it is backed by public records laws across the country, and decades of court rulings that codify our right to know. We had hoped that the NIH would agree that there is a pressing public desire for transparency regarding Covid-19.

But after waiting and attempting to work with the NIH for more than a year, today we filed a lawsuit against the agency for violating the Freedom of Information Act regarding nine of our record requests. As an example, the NIH has not yet provided even a single record in response to a request we filed on Nov. 5, 2020, nor has the agency even provided a timeline for when it might provide documents. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, seeks a wide range of NIH records, including the following:

  • Communications between the NIH and a U.S. group called the EcoHealth Alliance, which has received tens of millions of dollars in U.S. government funding, and has partnered with and funded China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The record requests seek EcoHealth grant applications, progress reports, funding agreements, and related documents.
  • Communications between the NIH and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
  • Documents regarding NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories.
  • Documents regarding the “Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT) Program,” which is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
  • Communications between the NIH and the World Health Organization concerning the origins of COVID-19.

This is our second FOIA lawsuit against the NIH regarding the origins of Covid-19. In our first FOIA suit against NIH, the NIH proposed to provide the documents it was required to provide by law in a thirty-year timeframe. Even though we filed that FOIA request on July 10, 2020, the NIH has yet to provide us with a single document it has not previously released.

We’ve been told for almost two years now to ‘follow the science,’ to look to our government institutions for the facts about Covid-19, including how this novel coronavirus came to be. We’re trying to get to those facts and to bring them to light. Why the NIH is fighting us on this is not clear.

We know this much: It shouldn’t take lawsuits to get to the truth.

(Gary Ruskin is executive director of US Right to Know.)

The Dicamba Papers: Key Documents and Analysis

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Dozens of farmers around the United States are suing the former Monsanto Co., purchased in 2018 by Bayer AG, and conglomerate BASF in an effort to hold the companies accountable for millions of acres of crop damage the farmers claim is due to widespread illegal use of the weed killing chemical dicamba, use  promoted by the companies.

The first case to go to trial pitted Missouri’s Bader Farms against the companies and resulted in a $265 million verdict against the companies. The jury awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division, Civil Docket #1:16-cv-00299-SNLJ. The owners of Bader Farms alleged the companies conspired to create an “ecological disaster” that would induce farmers to buy dicamba-tolerant seeds. Key documents from that case can be found below.

The EPA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) plans to investigate the agency’s approvals of new dicamba herbicides to determine whether the EPA adhered to federal requirements and “scientifically sound principles” when it registered the new dicamba herbicides.

Federal Action

Separately, on June 3, 2020. the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the Environmental Protection Agency had violated the law in approving dicamba herbicides make by Bayer, BASF and Corteva Agrisciences and overturned the agency’s approval of the popular dicamba-based herbicides made by the three chemical giants. The ruling made it illegal for farmers to continue to use the product.

But the EPA flouted the court ruling, issuing a notice on June 8 that said growers could continue to use the companies’ dicamba herbicides until July 31, despite the fact that the court specifically said in its order that it wanted no delay in vacating those approvals. The court cited damage done by dicamba use in past summers to millions of acres of crops, orchards and vegetable plots across U.S. farm country.

On June 11, 2020, the petitioners in the case filed an emergency motion seeking to enforce the court order and to hold the EPA in contempt. Several farm associations have joined with Corteva, Bayer and BASF in asking the court not to immediately enforce the ban. Documents are found below.

Background

Dicamba has been used by farmers since the 1960s but with limits that took into account the chemical’s propensity to drift and volatilize- moving far from where it was sprayed. When Monsanto’s popular glyphosate weed killing products, such as Roundup, started losing effectiveness due to widespread weed resistance, Monsanto decided to launch a dicamba cropping system similar to its popular Roundup Ready system, which paired glyphosate-tolerant seeds with glyphosate herbicides. Farmers buying the new genetically engineered dicamba-tolerant seeds could more easily treat stubborn weeds by spraying  entire fields with dicamba, even during warm growing months, without harming their crops. Monsanto announced a collaboration with BASF in 2011. The companies said their new dicamba herbicides would be less volatile and less prone to drift than old formulations of dicamba.

The Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide “XtendiMax” in 2016. BASF developed its own dicamba herbicide that it calls Engenia. Both XtendiMax and Engenia were first sold in the United States in 2017.

Monsanto started selling its dicamba-tolerant seeds in 2016, and a key claim by the plaintiffs is that selling the seeds before regulatory approval of the new dicamba herbicides encouraged farmers to spray fields with old, highly volatile dicamba formulations. The Bader lawsuit claims: “The cause of such destruction to Plaintiff Bader Farms’ crops is Defendant Monsanto’s willful and negligent release of a defective crop system – namely its genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II Xtend cotton seeds (“Xtend crops”) – without an accompanying, EPA-approved dicamba herbicide.”

Farmers claim that the companies knew and expected that the new seeds would spur such widespread use of dicamba that drift would damage the fields of farmers who did not buy the genetically engineered dicamba-tolerant seeds. The farmers allege this was part of a scheme to expand sales of the genetically engineered dicamba-tolerant seeds. Many allege the new dicamba formulations sold by the companies also drift and cause crop damage just as the old versions have done.

For more information about dicamba, please see our dicamba fact sheet.

The Food Industry Is Shaping the Principles of Scientific Integrity, Study Says

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News Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 at 9am EDT
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin +1 415 944 7350 or Mélissa Mialon +33 671756537

The food industry has been trying to revise the standards and principles by which science is conducted, in ways that benefit industry, such as by promoting the acceptance of public-private partnerships and permissiveness about conflicts of interest, according to a study published today in the journal Globalization and Health.

The food industry’s work in this area has been led by the International Life Sciences Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by a Coca-Cola executive and funded by the food industry.

The new study found that ILSI’s “work on scientific integrity ignores the risks of accepting corporate funding and fails to provide guidelines to protect from these risks.”

The study is based on documents obtained from public records requests by U.S. Right to Know, an investigative public health group, as well as others from the public domain and from the UCSF Food Industry Documents Archive.

“What is worrying is that the food industry built a niche literature on scientific integrity through a third party that wasn’t known until recently as acting for large food companies,” said Mélissa Mialon, the lead author of the study, and research fellow at the Trinity Business School of Trinity College Dublin. “Researchers and institutions concerned about conflicts of interest may fail to recognize that influence from corporations in the literature they cite and use to advance scientific integrity principles.”

“Big Food wants to manipulate the standards of research and science to defend processed foods that promote obesity, diabetes and other ills,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know, one of the co-authors of the study. “It is eroding the integrity of science, which crucially must be independent of and impartial to powerful corporations and their drive for profits.”

The study notes that “the food industry, like the alcohol and tobacco industries, tries to influence science’s very principles, such as scientific integrity and the good conduct of research.”

The study concludes that “ILSI’s work on scientific integrity, conflicts of interest and public-private partnerships waters down independent work in that space, puts profits before science, and undermines efforts to address undue influence of industry actors on public policy, research, and practice.”

In recent years, ILSI has been the subject of critical reporting, including three articles from The New York Times:

Most of ILSI’s work in the area of scientific integrity was conducted by ILSI-North America, which changed its name in February to the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences.

As a measure of its success, ILSI-North America has stated that its work on scientific integrity and public-private partnerships “has been published in peer-reviewed journals, endorsed by Federal agencies and professional nutrition and food science societies, and cited broadly throughout the scientific community.”

The study argues that it is important to “counter these practices as they risk shaping scientific standards to suit the industry’s interests rather than public health ones.”

The study “found that ILSI is a leading actor, not only in the food industry but more broadly in the scientific community, on the development of scientific integrity standards and principles.” It notes that, “In the very process of developing scientific integrity principles, food companies may use their connections with these reputable individuals and organizations to further their influence on science and policy.”

The food industry efforts to refashion the principles of science seem to repeat the actions of the tobacco industry. In a 2001 article in the American Journal of Public Health, Elisa Ong and Stanton Glantz wrote of tobacco industry’s “sophisticated public relations campaigns controlled by industry executives and lawyers whose aim is to manipulate the standards of scientific proof to serve the corporate interests of their clients.”

The study in Globalization and Health is titled, “Beyond nutrition and physical activity: Food industry shaping of the very principles of scientific integrity.” It was co-authored by Mélissa Mialon, research fellow at the Trinity Business School of Trinity College Dublin; Matthew Ho, a student at the University of Nevada; Angela Carriedo, communications secretary of the World Public Health and Nutrition Association; Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know; and Eric Crosbie, assistant professor at the University of Nevada.

USRTK’s fact sheet about ILSI is available at https://usrtk.org/our-investigations/ilsi-wields-stealthy-influence-for-the-food-and-agrichemical-industries/

Gary Ruskin of U.S. Right to Know has co-authored three previous studies on ILSI.  They are:

U.S. Right to Know is an investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health.  For more information about our work, see our academic studies at https://usrtk.org/academic-work/. For general information, see usrtk.org.

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Coca-Cola Funded Public Health Conferences in Effort to Shift Blame for Obesity, Study Says

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News Release

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 2 at 7pm EST
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin +1 415 944 7350 or Gary Sacks +61 403 491 205

The Coca-Cola Company used its sponsorship of international public health conferences to deflect blame for the obesity epidemic away from its products, according to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The study is based on documents about the 2012 and 2014 International Congresses of Physical Activity and Public Health (ICPAPH), obtained via state public records requests by U.S. Right to Know, an investigative public health group.

The study found that “Coke deliberated with its sponsored researchers on topics to present at ICPAPH, despite publicly claiming otherwise, in an effort to shift blame for the rising incidence of obesity and diet-related diseases away from its products onto physical activity and individual choice.”

“Coke used ICPAPH to promote its front groups and sponsored research networks and to foster relationships with public health leaders in order to use their authority to deliver Coke’s messaging,” the study’s authors wrote.

“This unseemly conscription of public health conferences to serve up Coca-Cola’s messaging erodes trust in the cause of public health,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know. “It’s long past time for the public health community to transform itself into something that can’t be bought or rented.”

The documents show that Rhona Applebaum, Coca-Cola’s chief science and health officer at the time, wanted to focus attention on “individual behaviour and motivation,” which is far removed from government or collective action such as soda or sugar taxes, crackdowns on soda advertising and marketing, and litigation against soda companies, and other policies.

“The process of generating and disseminating public health-related research needs to be better protected from the influence of firms with interests that are clearly in conflict with those of public health,” said Benjamin Wood, one of the co-authors of the study. “One step to achieving that is to eliminate all forms of sponsorship from firms active in health-harming industries.”

The study is titled “How Coca-Cola Shaped the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health: An Analysis of Email Exchanges between 2012 and 2014.”  It was co-authored by Benjamin Wood, a medical doctor and PhD candidate at Deakin University; Gary Ruskin; and Associate Professor Gary Sacks, also from Deakin University.

The paper argues that the “dissemination of scientific knowledge through scientific conferences should be better protected from hidden and less visible forms of corporate influence. The model of eliminating tobacco industry sponsorship, as stipulated in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, could be applied to the food industry as well.”

U.S. Right to Know is an investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health.  For more information about our work, see our academic papers at https://usrtk.org/academic-work/. For general information, see usrtk.org.

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U.S. Right to Know Sues State Department for Documents about Origins of SARS-CoV-2

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News Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 30, 2020
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (415) 944-7350 or Sainath Suryanarayanan

U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit investigative public health group, filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Department of State for violating provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

This is the second FOIA lawsuit filed by USRTK as part of its efforts to uncover what is known about the origins of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2; the risks of biosafety labs; and gain-of-function research, which seeks to augment the infectivity or lethality of potential pandemic pathogens.

Today’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks State Department documents and correspondence with or about China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the EcoHealth Alliance, which partnered with and funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology, among other subjects.

The new lawsuit follows one filed by USRTK on November 5 against the National Institutes of Health over its failure to provide records about the origins of SARS-CoV-2.  Since July, USRTK has filed 43 state, federal, and international public records requests seeking information about the origins of SARS-CoV-2, and the risks of biosafety labs and gain-of-function research.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease Covid-19.

For more information about USRTK’s investigation, see “Why we are researching the origins of SARS-CoV-2, biosafety labs and GOF research” and the reading list on “What are the origins of SARS-CoV-2? What are the risks of gain-of-function research?” Other articles from the USRTK investigation include “EcoHealth Alliance orchestrated key scientists’ statement on “natural origin” of SARS-CoV-2,” “Validity of key studies on origin of coronavirus in doubt; science journals investigating,” “Nature and PLoS Pathogens probe scientific veracity of key studies linking pangolin coronaviruses to origin of SARS-CoV-2,” and “Scientist with conflict of interest leading Lancet COVID-19 Commission task force on virus origins.”

USRTK is represented in the State Department case by Daniel C. Snyder of the Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, PC, and Laura Beaton of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP.

U.S. Right to Know is an investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health. For more information, see usrtk.org.

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U.S. Right to Know Sues NIH for Documents about Origins of SARS-CoV-2

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News Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 5, 2020
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (415) 944-7350 or Sainath Suryanarayanan

U.S. Right to Know, an investigative public health nonprofit group, filed a lawsuit today against the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for violating provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks correspondence with or about organizations such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the EcoHealth Alliance, which partnered with and funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Today’s litigation against the NIH is one part of our efforts to try to uncover what is known about the origins of SARS-CoV-2, and the risks of biosafety labs and gain-of-function research, which seeks to augment the infectivity or lethality of potential pandemic pathogens. Since July, we have filed 36 state, federal and international public records requests about these subjects.

“Preventing the next pandemic may depend crucially on understanding the origins of the present one,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know. “We want to know whether the US or Chinese governments, or scientists affiliated with them, are concealing data about the origins of SARS-CoV-2, or the risks of biosafety labs and gain-of-function research.”

NIH denied our FOIA request and determined to “withhold those records pursuant to Exemption 7(A), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and section 5.31 (g)(l) of the HHS FOIA Regulations, 45 CFR Part 5. Exemption 7(A) permits the withholding of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes when disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

For more information about our investigation, see our post on “Why we are researching the origins of SARS-CoV-2, biosafety labs and GOF research” and our reading list on “What are the origins of SARS-CoV-2? What are the risks of gain-of-function research?

U.S. Right to Know is an investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health. For more information, see our website at usrtk.org.

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Vermont Supreme Court to Hear FOI Case about Professor’s Food Industry Group Documents

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Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 10, 2020
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (415) 944-7350

What: The Vermont Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. Right to Know v. University of Vermont.  The case involves a request under the Vermont Public Records Act for email communications involving Dr. Naomi Fukagawa, an emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Vermont. USRTK is interested in learning more about Fukagawa’s work as the editor-in-chief of Nutrition Reviews. The journal is published by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a group funded by the food and agrichemical industries.

When: Tuesday, September 15 at 2pm EDT. Video of the oral arguments will be livestreamed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5naSorUsDA-rgrF1_SGkw

Why: U.S. Right to Know is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the food and agrichemical industries, their business practices and front groups. As a result of that investigation, U.S. Right to Know Executive Director Gary Ruskin has co-authored three academic studies about ILSI in the journals Public Health Nutrition, Globalization and Health and Critical Public Health.  The studies show that while ILSI claims to “improve the well-being of the general public,” in fact it acts on behalf of the food industry.

Background: USRTK has prepared a fact sheet about ILSI. Briefs in the case U.S. Right to Know v. University of Vermont are available here.

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