Pursuing truth and transparency for public health

FOIA

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Defending Our Right to Know

U.S. Right to Know investigates the food and agrichemical industries, and the impacts their products and practices have on human health and the environment. In our research, we gather court documents, study regulatory filings and make frequent Freedom of Information requests to state, federal and international institutions, including regulatory bodies and universities. The documents we have obtained from taxpayer-funded institutions have generated worldwide media coverage and exposed numerous secret industry strategies, payments and collaborations that undermine scientific, academic, political and regulatory institutions. Many of our documents are now posted in the UCSF Chemical and Food Industry libraries.

Litigating for Our Right to Know

When agencies and institutions fail to comply with open records laws, we seek legal remedies to compel release of documents and data. See USRTK’s litigation documents.

– U.S. Right to Know v. U.S. Department of State (November 2020)
– U.S. Right to Know v. National Institutes of Health (November 2020)
– U.S. Right to Know v. United States Department of State (July 2019)
– U.S. Right to Know v. University of Vermont and State Agricultural College (April 2019)
– CrossFit & U.S. Right to Know v. Department of Health and Human Services (October 2018)
– U.S. Right to Know v. EPA: glyphosate residue testing (May 2018)
– U.S. Right to Know v. Department of Health and Human Services (February 2018)
– U.S. Right to Know v. University of Florida Board of Trustee (July 2017)
– U.S. Right to Know v. EPA: review of glyphosate (March 2017)
– Gary Ruskin v. The Regents of the University of California (August 2016)

Protecting Open Government Laws

The rights of citizens, researchers and journalists to access public records through state and federal freedom of information laws are in jeopardy. Most recently, the California Assembly took up a bill that would have limited the public’s right to obtain records held by academic institutions. USRTK worked with open government groups and journalistic organizations to successfully oppose the legislation. See our posts, Don’t weaken the California Public Records Act (May 2019); State public record laws help uncover wrongdoing at public universities (April 2019).

News releases about our Freedom of Information litigation

News coverage about our FOI litigation

USRTK v. U.S. Department of State

U.S. Right to Know is suing the U.S. State Department 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.

USRTK v. National Institutes of Health

U.S. Right to Know is suing 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.

USRTK v. United States Department of State

U.S. Right to Know is suing the U.S. State Department for failing to release communications with its employees in Europe regarding glyphosate. Public Citizen Litigation Group is representing us.

USRTK v. University of Vermont and State Agricultural College

U.S. Right to Know is suing the University of Vermont for refusing to release public documents related to a member of its faculty who has longstanding ties to the International Life Sciences Institute, a group funded by the food and agrichemical industries.

CrossFit & USRTK v. Department of Health and Human Services

CrossFit and U.S. Right to Know are suing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking records about why the Foundation for the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Foundation) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH Foundation) have not disclosed donor information as required by law.

USRTK v. EPA (glyphosate residue testing)

Public Citizen Litigation Group on behalf of U.S. Right to Know is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the release of documents related to the EPA’s interactions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding testing food samples for residues of glyphosate.

USRTK v. Department of Health and Human Services

USRTK v. University of Florida Board of Trustees

U.S. Right to Know is seeking to obtain key documents about the agrichemical industry and its ties with the University of Florida.

USRTK v. EPA (review of glyphosate)

Public Citizen Litigation Group on behalf of U.S. Right to Know is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the release of documents related to EPA’s assessment of glyphosate.

Gary Ruskin v. The Regents of the University of California

U.S. Right to Know is suing UC Davis for failing to release public records about GMOs and pesticides.

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