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 on this page by topic and by chronology Sign up for regular updates here.

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

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

  • 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: 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • Huffington Post: Monsanto’s Fingerprints Found All Over Attack on Organic Food
  • Mother Jones: These 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

John Entine, UC Davis, Genetic Literacy Project

  • Fact Sheet: Jon Entine, the Chemical Industry’s Master Messenger
  • USRTK News Release: Group Calls on Jon Entine to Reveal Funding Ties to Industry
  • Bloomberg: How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMOs

Henry Miller, Hoover Institution

Calestous Juma, Harvard University

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

Cornell Alliance for Science & Gates Foundation

  • 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: Why is the Gates Foundation Funding a Propaganda Campaign at Cornell?

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

  • 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

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)

  • 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
  • USRTK 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: Before the Holiday Feast: 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. Environmental Protection Agency 

  • 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

  • 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

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

2016

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 Research: GMO Bt Crops Failing 

USRTK: Trevor Butterworth Spins Science for Industry 

USRTK: New Data on Pesticides in Food Raises Safety Questions 

USRTK: FDA Suspends Testing for Glyphosate in Food 

Huffington Post: More Bad News for Honey as US Seeks to Get Handle on Glyphosate Residues in Food

Huffington Post: IARC Scientists Defend Glyphosate Cancer Link; Surprised by Industry Assault 

BMJ: Conflicts of interest compromise US public health agency’s mission, say scientists 

USRTK: Top Scientists at CDC Complain of Corporate Influence, Unethical Practices

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: FDA Finds Monsanto’s Weed Killer in U.S. Honey 

Davis Enterprise: Watchdog Group Sues UCD Over Public Records Request

Sacramento News & Review: Watchdog Group Alleges that Five UCD Professors Were Paid to Shill for GMOs 

Sacramento Bee: Watchdog Group Sues to Force UC Davis to Turn Over Public Records 

Politico: UC Davis Sued as Part of Industry Influence Probe 

The Hill: What is Going On at the CDC? Health Agency Needs Scrutiny

Huffington Post: More Coca-Cola Ties Seen Inside US Centers for Disease Control 

Huffington Post: CDC Official Exits After Coca-Cola Connections Come to Light 

Huffington Post: Beverage Industry Finds Friend Inside U.S. Health Agency

USRTK: ILSI Wields Stealthy Influence for the Food and Agrichemical Industries

Alternet: 13 Academics Who Have Become Shills for Corporate Giants 

Huffington Post: Monsanto Fingerprints Found All Over Attack on Organic Food 

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

STAT News: Disney, Fearing a Scandal, Tries to Press Journal to Withdraw Research Paper

Inverse: Disney Parks Food Study Shows the Problems with Corporate Science, Not Hot Dogs

Marion Nestle: The strange story of my accepted but yet-to-be published commentary on Disney-funded study gets stranger

WBEZ: Why Didn’t an Illinois Professor Have to Disclose GMO Funding

US RTK: Following an Email Trail: How a Public University Professor Collaborated on a Corporate PR Campaign

Huffington Post: Monsanto’s Media Machine Comes to Washington

Interview with Carey Gillam: Peeling Back the Curtain on Monsanto

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting: Washington Post’s Food Columnist Goes to Bat for Monsanto – Again

2015 

New York Times: Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show

Boston Globe: Harvard Professor Failed to Disclose Monsanto Connection in Paper Touting GMOs

Mother Jones: These Emails Show Monsanto Leaning on Professors to Fight the GMO PR War

Bloomberg: How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMOs

Global News: Documents Reveal Canadian Teenager Target of GMO Lobby

BuzzFeed: Seed Money: True Confessions of a GMO Promoter

Alternet: How Monsanto Solicited Academics to Bolster Their Pro-GMO Propaganda

Harvard Crimson: Prof Failed To Disclose Connection to Company in Paper

Saskatoon Star Phoenix: Group Questions U of S Prof’s Monsanto Link

The Intercept: Jeb Bush Campaign Manager Helped Big Pharma Beat Back Anti-Meth Lab Legislation

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting: Buckraking on the Food Beat: When Is It a Conflict of Interest?

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

Further reading

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

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.