Center for Food Safety: Legal swat team of anti-GMO movement

December 31, 2018 |

Center for Food Safety
Location (primary)
Washington, DC USA
US 501C3, 501C4
Andrew Kimbrell

Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to protect human health and the environment, focusing on the use of harmful food production technologies, and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.

With a name that leads to confusion with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, this activist organization was a 1997 spinoff from the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA – known for defending Percy Schmeiser against Monsanto, among other things). ICTA remains a legally separate for financial reporting but is co-located with CFS and the law firm of Kimbrell & Mendelson (now Kimbrell, Kimbrell & Solen) with whom it shares staff and other resources. Its primary tactical toolbox consists of litigation, regulatory rule-making petitions, and legal support for “sustainable” agriculture advocates.

CFS has filed dozens of suits, often in partnership with EarthJustice and other activist organizations, targeting various U.S. government agencies. It filed a joint suit with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service seeking to ban GMO crops from 25 national wildlife refuges.

CFS has offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, California. Its executive director is Andrew Kimbrell, one of the most influential players in the U.S. anti-GMO movement. CFS employs a half dozen attorneys including George Kimbrell, who joined with Andrew Kimbrell after serving in clerkship with Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals during which time the court heard cases brought by CFS’s Andrew Kimbrell targeting GMOs.

CFS’s leadership, Kimbrell and Mendelson, were also the primary coordinators behind the Turning Point campaign targeting GMOs and industrial agriculture from 1998-2004. Kimbrell’s board and partnering relationships are extensive and include roles with the International Forum on Globalization, American Humane Society and Men’s Health Network. The organization facilitates multiple internally run campaigns, such as the True Food Network—a grassroots organizing platform, which are designed to appear as independent entities. CFS is tied to anti-biotechnology organizations mentioned throughout this report. (See also, CSF 2002 examination from Let Them Eat Precaution.)

CFS unabashedly promotes and defends organic-only agriculture, and opposes GMOs, food irradiation, aquaculture, animal cloning, and rBGH. It was one of the earliest adopters of a later debunked theory that mad cow disease was exclusively the result of non-organic livestock agriculture. CFS was the primary instigator of the legal skirmishes over GMO sugar beets; it also organized the Geertson Seed Farm anti-Monsanto case.


The Center for Food Safety was registered as a non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia (DC) on March 4, 1999 via the registration agent International Center for Technology Assessment. It has both a 501c3 and 501c4 status. According to the D.C. office of corporations this entities business registration status is “revoked” with it’s last filed report listed as July 2011.[1]

Names: Center for Food Safety, Center for Food Safety Action Fund, Kimbrell & Mendelson, and Kimbrell, Kimbrell & Solen
660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, #302
Washington DC 20003

  • The Center for Food Safety Action fund was registered February 9, 2012 and the status is active.[2]
  • The International Center for Technology Assessment was registered December 7, 1994 and the status is “dissolved with last report filed in May 2012.”[3]


  • Key personnel: Andrew Kimbrell, Bill Freese, Jaydee Hanson, George Kimbrell, Adele Douglas (also with U.S. Humane Society)
  • 2008 revenue: $1,535,389
  • 2008 expenses: $1,753,533
  • Primary income sources: Foundations; contributions (corporate)
  • 501c3

Campaigns & Litigation

Hawaii Center for Food Safety Action Fund

Center for Food Safety engages in various advocacy, lobbying and litigation activities directly, via coalitions and behind the scenes directing third-party group (see Turning Point Campaign).

Tell Congress and Obama to Label GE Food!

A political action committee launched in January 2014, HCFSAF runs a website and social media site in support of litigation and lobbying in Hawaii to ban GMOs and pesticides. They also run campaigns in support of local candidates for political office.

In 2013 the Center for Food Safety was mobilizing its members to petition Congress and President Obama to pass a GE food labeling bill in 2013.[4]

Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety Action Fund

677 Ala Moana Blvd, Suite 1100, Honolulu, HI 96813

Beekeper Litigation: Ellis et al v. Bradbury et al

Case: 3:13-cv-01266-MMC Ellis et al v. Bradbury et al
Date filed: 03/21/2013

Initial Plaintiffs: Steve Ellis, Tom Theobald, Jim Doan, Bill Rhodes, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Environmental Health.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys: Sylvia Shih-Yau Wu (CFS), Paige Michele Tomaselli (CFS), George Andreas Kimbrell (CFS), Peter T. Jenkins (CFS),
Defendants: Stepven P. Bradbury, Bob Perciasepe
Defense attorneys: Leslie M. Hill (DoJ), John Howard Martin, III (DoJ)

Original complaint targets EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs seeking to stop the use of pesticide products containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam (neonicotinoids) alleged by CFS to be adversely linked to bee and other pollinator health.

Turning Point Campaign

International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA)

The original organization founded by Kimbrell after leaving the Foundation on Economic Trends. CFS was originally a project of ICTA then spun off as a separate organization. These organizations overlap 100% in staff, location and resources. While separate entities for tax and reporting purposes, these entities are are otherwise separate in name only. Often ICTA and CFS names are jointly added to coalitions, petitions and letter campaigns bolstering the appearance of greater numbers of supporters for specific projects.

ICTA takes the lead role in CFS campaigns critical of emerging technologies (e.g., nanotechnology, synthetic biology and new breeding techniques) and is often the entity name used by CFS staff at international conferences.

Organic Consumers Association

See Organic Consumers Association (OCA—GLP profile here) and Ronnie Cummins. OCA started as a campaign project of CFS, called the Pure Food Campaign, and was later spun off as an independent organization. Cummins and Kimbrell had worked together at the Foundation on Economic Trends before creating ICTA and CFS.

Kimbrell & Mendelson Law Firm

The Kimbrell & Mendelson Law firm represented a range of advocacy and commercial clients and operated until terminated sometime between 2005-2012 – Mendelson, who came to ICTA/CFS from Friends of the Earth in 1995, moved to the National Wildlife Federation in 2008 and now serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works as Chief Climate Counsel[5] paid $165,000.[6] In 2013 Kimbrell created Kimbrell, Kimbrell and Solen, LLC. Like Kimbrell & Mendelson, this firm like Kimbrell’s other entities, operates from the same offices and with the same overlapping staff as CFS and ICTA. As a commercial entity these firms do not file public disclosures on fees or expenses. [7]

Cases Involving ICTA/CFS/Kimrell

In the vast majority of these “et al” suits, in addition to being a co-plaintiff, Kimbrell’s army of attorney’s at CFS are also representing organic farmers, Sierra Club, Beyond Pesticides, Greenpeace and the other plaintiff’s against USG agencies and/or biotech and crop protection companies) – Kimbrell’s army of lawyers is tied into more than 50 suites and more than 30 appeals:

1. 1:93-cv-01338-TPJ FOUNDANTION ON ECONMICS TRENDS, PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE., et al v. SHALALA (HHS/FDA), et al, Date filed: 06/29/1993 Date terminated: 03/22/199 Date of last filing: 03/21/1994. (Dismissed)
2. 1:98-cv-00561-RCL EDMONDS INSTITUTE, International Center for Technology Assessment, Phil Knigh et al v. BABBITT (DoI), et al Date filed: 03/05/1998 Date terminated: 04/12/2000 Date of last filing: 04/10/2001
3. 1:98-cv-01300-CKK ALLIANCE FOR BIO-INTEGRITY, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT, JOHN FAGAN, RON EPSTEIN, LIEBE VAVALIERI et al v. SHALALA (HHS/FDA), et al Date filed: 05/27/1998 Date terminated: 09/29/2000 Date of last filing: 02/20/2001 (Dismissal upheld on appeal)
4. 1:99-cv-00389-LFO GREENPEACE INTL, Center for Food Safety, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, et al v. BROWNER (EPA) Date filed: 02/18/1999 Date terminated: 07/21/2000 Date of last filing: 07/21/2000
5. 4:96-cv-00035-HLM Armuchee Alliance, Dan Glickman, et al v. Joe King, et al Date filed: 02/09/1996 Date terminated: 04/19/1996 Date of last filing: 04/18/1996
6. 1:02-cv-02376-RBW INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT, Sierra Club et al v. WHITMAN (EPA), Date filed: 12/05/2002 Date terminated: 09/24/2003 Date of last filing: 09/24/2003
7. 1:03-cv-00020-HHK INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT, Center for Food Safety, Faith Campbell, et al v. VENEMAN (USDA) et al Date filed: 01/08/2003 Date terminated: 02/05/2007 Date of last filing: 03/18/2009
8. 1:03-cv-00621-JMS Center for Food Safe, Friends of the Earth, Kahea, Pesticide Action Network, et al v. Veneman,(USDA) et al Date filed: 11/12/2003 Date terminated: 09/07/2006 Date of last filing: 03/27/2009
9. 1:04-cv-00062-RMU INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT, Center for Food Safety, Sierra Club, et al v. THOMPSON (HHS/FDA) et al, Date filed: 01/14/2004 Date terminated: 03/30/2005 Date of last filing: 01/08/2007
10. 1:04-cv-01324-RMU CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE et al Date filed: 08/05/2004 Date terminated: 06/21/2005 Date of last filing: 06/22/2005
11. 1:05-cv-01245-RJL CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Date filed: 06/22/2005 Date terminated: 08/08/2005 Date of last filing: 07/28/2005
12. 1:06-cv-01047-RJL CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. VON ESCHENBACH (FDA Commissioner) Date filed: 06/07/2006 Date terminated: 10/12/2006 Date of last filing: 09/01/2006
13. 1:06-cv-00223-GMS Delaware Audubon Society, Center for Food Safety et al v. Secretary United States Department of Interior et al, Date filed: 04/05/2006 Date terminated: 03/24/2009 Date of last filing: 02/24/2010
14. 1:07-cv-01023-LLP Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, Center for Food Safety, Food and Water Watch, Public Citizen, et al v. United States Department of Agriculture et al Date filed: 10/24/2007 Date terminated: 12/07/2012 Date of last filing: 12/07/2012
15. 1:09-mc-00279-RMC WALKER et al, v. Center for Food Safety Petitioner, Date filed: 06/05/2009 Date terminated: 01/06/2010 Date of last filing: 11/05/2009
16. 1:10-cv-00162-GMS Delaware Audubon Society, Center for Food Safety et al v. Salazar et al, Date filed: 03/01/2010 Date terminated: 02/15/2011 Date of last filing: 02/15/2011
17. 1:10-cv-00985-FJS CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth, International Center for Technology Assessment, Oceana, et al v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY et al, Date filed: 06/11/2010 Date terminated: 11/02/2012 Date of last filing: 11/02/2012
18. 1:11-cv-00586-JDB CENTER FOR FOOD AND SAFETY v. VILSACK (USDA), Monsanto, et al, Date filed: 03/22/2011 Date terminated: 09/25/2012 Date of last filing: 09/07/2012
19. 1:11-cv-00308-JDB GRANT, Center for Food Safety et al v. VILSACK (USDA), Center for Food Safety, et al Date filed: 02/07/2011 Date terminated: 09/25/2012 Date of last filing: 09/25/2012 (Sugar-related – CFS on both plaintiffs and defendants list)
20. 1:11-cv-01457-JEB CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY, Beyond Pesticides, et al v. SALAZAR (DoI) et al Date filed: 08/11/2011 Date terminated: 1/08/2013 Date of last filing: 04/11/2013
21. 1:11-cv-01934-JEB CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY, Beyond Pesticides, et al v. SALAZAR (DoI) et al, Date filed: 11/02/2011 Date terminated: 10/15/2012 Date of last filing: 12/11/2012
22. 1:13-cv-01306-RBW ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY PROJECT, Food and Water Watch, Humane Society, Center for Food Safety, et al v. MCCARTHY (EPA), et al Date filed: 08/28/2013 Date of last filing: 02/26/2014
23. 1:13-cv-01541-ABJ CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION, Date filed: 10/07/2013 Date of last filing: 02/20/2014
24. 1:14-cv-00014-BMK-NONE Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. County of Kauai, UNASSIGNED, referral Date filed: 01/10/2014 Date of last filing: 02/28/2014 Intervenor Center for Food Safety
25. 1:14-cv-00267-RC CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. SEBELIUS (HHS/FDA) et al, Date filed: 02/20/2014 Date of last filing: 03/05/2014
26. 1:14-cv-00360-CKK CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY, Sierra Club, Beyond Pesticides et al v. SALLY JEWELL, US FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE, et al Date filed: 03/06/2014 Date of last filing: 03/06/2014
27. 2:00-cv-00074-WFD Western Fuels Assn v. Turning Point Project (Kimbrell), Friends of the Earth, International Center for Technology Assessment, Rainforest Action Network, et al, Date filed: 04/17/2000 Date terminated: 03/31/2001 Date of last filing: 03/31/2001
28. 2:10-cv-14175-KMM Center for Biological Diversity, Dogwood Alliance, Sierra Club, Global Justice Ecology Project, Center for Food Safety, International Center for Technology Assessment et al v. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Arborgen, BIO, et al, Date filed: 07/01/2010 Date terminated: 10/06/2011 Date of last filing: 12/16/2011
29. 2:12-cv-00042-JPB Lois Alt v. United States Environmental Protection Agency Date filed: 06/14/2012 Date terminated: 10/23/2013 Date of last filing: 02/06/2014 Intervenor Defendant Center for Food Safety
30. 2:13-md-02473-KHV-KMH In Re: Monsanto Company Genetically-Engineered Wheat Litigation, Date filed: 10/18/2013 Date of last filing: 03/05/2014 – Center for Food Safety plaintiff
31. 2:13-cv-02541-KHV-KMH Center for Food Safety, Tom Stahl, et al v. Monsanto Company Date filed: 10/21/2013 Date of last filing: 03/05/2014
32. 2:13-cv-00679-RJS Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals et al v. Herbert (Utah Governor) et al, Date filed: 07/22/2013 Date of last filing: 01/21/2014 Center for Food Safety Amicus
33. 2:13-cv-00213-JLQ Center for Food Safety et al v. Monsanto Company Date filed: 06/06/2013 Date terminated: 10/16/2013 Date of last filing: 10/21/2013
34. 2:13-cv-03017-TOR Community Association for Restoration of the Environment Inc, Center for Food Safety et al v. George & Margaret LLC et al Date filed: 02/14/2013 Date of last filing: 03/11/2014
35. 2:13-cv-03016-TOR Community Association for Restoration of the Environment Inc, Center for Food Safety et al v. Cow Palace LLC Date filed: 02/14/2013 Date of last filing: 03/11/2014
36. 2:13-cv-03018-TOR Community Association for Restoration of the Environment Inc, Center for Food Safety et al v. D & A Dairy et al Date filed: 02/14/2013 Date of last filing: 03/11/2014
37. 2:13-cv-03026-TOR Community Association for Restoration of the Environment Inc , Center for Food Safety, et al v. R & M Haak LLC et al Date filed: 02/20/2013 Date terminated: 02/06/2014 Date of last filing: 02/06/2014
38. 2:13-cv-03019-TOR Community Association for Restoration of the Environment Inc et al v. Henry Bosma Dairy et al Date filed: 02/14/2013 Date of last filing: 03/11/2014
39. 3:06-cv-00016-CDL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. John Walker, Ph.D et al Date filed: 02/17/2006 Date terminated: 09/08/2010 Date of last filing: 01/29/2013
40. 3:06-cv-01075-CRB Geertson Seed Farms, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Cornucopia Institute, National Family Farm Coalition, et al v. Johanns (USDA), Monsanto, et al, Date filed: 02/16/2006 Date terminated: 05/03/2007 Date of last filing: 08/09/2012
41. 3:08-cv-00484-JSW Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, Sierra Club, et al v. Connor (USDA), Monsanto, et al, referral Date filed: 01/23/2008 Date terminated: 08/13/2010 Date of last filing: 11/20/2012
42. 3:10-cv-04038-JSW Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, Sierra Club, et al v. Vilsack (USDA), Monsanto, et al, Date filed: 09/09/2010 Date terminated: 04/14/2011 Date of last filing: 02/13/2013
43. 3:11-cv-00831-JSW Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack (USDA), Monsanto, et al, Date filed: 02/23/2011 Date terminated: 03/17/2011 Date of last filing: 03/17/2011
44. 3:11-cv-01310-SC Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Cornucopia Institute, Sierra Club, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, et al v. Vilsack (USDA), Forage Genetics, Monsanto, et al, Date filed: 03/18/2011 Date terminated: 01/05/2012 Date of last filing: 08/21/2013
45. 3:11-cv-06592-MEJ International Center for Technology Assessment, Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch, Center for Environmental Health, Institute for Agriculture Technology, ETC Group et al v. Hamburg (FDA) Date filed: 12/21/2011 Date terminated: 05/14/2012 Date of last filing: 05/14/2012
46. 3:13-cv-01266-MMC Ellis, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Sierra, Club, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Environmental Health, et al v. Bradbury (EPA), Bayer, Syngenta, CropLife, et al, Date filed: 03/21/2013 Date of last filing: 02/24/2014
47. 3:13-cv-01975-JSW Center for Food Safety, Institute for Agriculture Trade Policy, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, Health Care Without Harm, Food and Water Watch, et al v. Sebelius (HHS/FDA), et al, Date filed: 04/30/2013 Date terminated: 12/02/2013 Date of last filing: 12/02/2013
48. 4:12-cv-04529-PJH Center for Food Safety et al v. Hamburg (FDA), et al, Date filed: 08/29/2012 Date terminated: 06/21/2013 Date of last filing: 02/25/2014
49. 4:13-cv-03987-YGR Center for Food Safety, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Sierra Club, Beyond Pesticides, et al v. Jewell (US Fish & Wildlife Service) et al Date filed: 08/27/2013 Date terminated: 02/14/2014 Date of last filing: 03/06/2014
50. 4:13-cv-04622-YGR Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Food Safety, et al v. United States Food and Drug Administration Date filed: 10/07/2013 Date of last filing: 03/07/2014


  • Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director
  • Joseph “Joe” Mendelson, was senior counsel and legal director for the International Center for Technology Assistance and Center for Food Safety from 1995-2008 (Note: he continued to appear on CFS/ICTA legal filings into 2012). Partner in Kimbrell & Mendelson Law Firm. Served as director for global warming policy, climate and energy policy at the National Wildlife Federation from 2008-2012. In 2013 he was appointed as Chief Climate Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. BA Colgate, JD George Washington University. 1991.[8]
  • George Kimbrell, (possibly Andrew’s nephew) Senior Attorney, practices environmental and administrative law with a focus on the impacts of new and emerging technologies. His legal and policy work spans a broad range of CFS program areas, including: genetically engineered foods; transgenic plants, trees and animals; food labeling; organic standards; factory farming; aquaculture; pesticides; nanotechnology; and synthetic biology. George received his law degree magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he subsequently has taught sustainable food and agriculture law as an adjunct professor. George joined CFS upon completing a clerkship with the Honorable Ronald M. Gould, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. -see more detailed profile at Andrew Kimbrell.
  • Kaiulani Kimbrell, (Andrew Kimbrell’s daughter) video and media expert.[9]
  • Rebecca Spector joined CFS in 2000 and has been instrumental in growing the organization and creating its West Coast Regional Office in San Francisco. As CFS’s West Coast Director, she champions policy initiatives at the state and federal level and coordinates public outreach campaigns to promote healthy, safe and sustainable food systems. She has been working in the environmental and agricultural sector for more than 20 years, and her experience includes establishing regulations to limit the production of genetically engineered (GE) fish in California, and writing and sponsoring numerous legislative initiatives including state bills to require labeling of GE foods, labeling of GE fish, labeling of food from cloned animals, and farmer protections from GMO contamination. Previously, she served as director of development at Green Seal, the first U.S. product eco-labeling organization, and at Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet she spearheaded its organic cotton marketing campaign. Rebecca is associate editor of Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. She has authored numerous articles and reports including “Livestock Cloning and the Quest for Industrial Perfection” in CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories and “Fully Integrated Food Systems: Regaining Connections between Farmers and Consumers” in Fatal Harvest. For ten years, Rebecca was co-owner of the first certified organic farm in Half Moon Bay, California, and created its community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs that served hundreds of families in the Bay Area. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Bill Freese joined CFS in 2006 as science policy analyst. In his six years with the Safer Food – Safer Farms campaign at Friends of the Earth, he authored numerous reports and comments to government agencies concerning the science and regulation of genetically engineered crops. Bill played a key role in the discovery of unapproved StarLink corn in the food supply in 2000/01. His comprehensive report on genetically engineered (GE) pharmaceutical crops in 2002 helped initiate public debate on “biopharming.” In 2004, he teamed up with Salk Institute cell biologist David Schubert to write a comprehensive, peer-reviewed scientific critique of the regulation and safety testing of GE foods. Bill has given numerous public presentations on agricultural biotechnology to State Department officers, international regulatory officials, farm groups and the general public. More recent work involves assessments of the failed promise of GE crops, industrial biotechnology, and cost-effective alternatives to genetic engineering. Bill holds a B.A. in chemistry from Grinnell College.
  • Colin O’Neil is the director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety. Since joining in 2008, he has contributed to the expansion of the Center’s policy campaigns, organizing and overseeing daily operations of the Center’s congressional and federal policy work. He regularly meets with Members of Congress and their staff on issues of concern to the food safety community, including regulation and oversight of genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals, food and farm policy, organic agriculture and climate change, as well as nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Colin acts as a spokesperson for a range of issues and actions by the Center, and has been interviewed and quoted by a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including Politico, Dow Jones, Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and Fox News. A magna cum laude graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin and an avid outdoorsman, he is also the co-author of Nano Exposed: A Citizen’s Guide to Nanotechnology.
  • Cristina Stella is a Legal Fellow at Center for Food Safety, joining CFS after completing a clerkship with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Cristina earned her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where she focused on environmental and consumer protection through the Institute for Public Representation clinical program and externships with Food & Water Watch, the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest Litigation Project, and the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. As a research assistant for the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and the Center for a Livable Future, Cristina developed advocacy strategies to combat the human health and environmental impacts of factory farms. Prior to law school, she coordinated food and farm policy projects in Portland, Oregon, supporting increased access to fresh, sustainably grown foods for low-income communities.
  • Debbie Barker formerly served as the co-director of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), a think tank that analyses and critiques forms of economic globalization, where she worked from 1996 to 2008. She recently authored The Predictable Rise and Fall of Global Industrial Agriculture, which highlights international policies causing ecological and social harm, and provides alternative strategies to the current food system. She was on the international committee of authors for the United Nation’s major report released in 2008-the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), and co-authored The Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security (2008). Ms. Barker has edited, co-authored and contributed to numerous other reports including: Invisible Government-The World Trade Organization: Global Government For The New Millennium (with Jerry Mander); Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture; and Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible. She currently serves on the board of directors of the International Forum on Globalization, and is a member of the Committee on the Future of Food and Agriculture commissioned by the government of Tuscany, Italy.
  • Diana Donolon brings nearly two decades of experience in philanthropy and grassroots environmental activism to the Cool Foods campaign. As a program executive at the Goldman Environmental Prize, she helped to elevate the critical and often unrecognized causes of environmental activists around the world. In 2002 Diana was one of the founders of the first foundation collaborative to focus on food, the Roots of Change Fund; today a statewide network leading California’s transition to sustainable agriculture by 2030. She has worked for a variety of foundations including the Public Health Trust, the Columbia Foundation and the William Zimmerman Foundation, as a program consultant where she has used her extensive knowledge of the food system as a way to address complex social and environmental problems. Diana is the Board Secretary of the award-winning non-profit Watershed Media, publishers of action-oriented titles including Farming with the Wild and Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History from UC Berkeley, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University and served in the Peace Corps in Morocco.
  • Donna Solen is a Senior Attorney in the San Francisco office of the Center for Food Safety. Prior to joining CFS, Donna spent 15 years practicing law in Washington, DC. Donna began her career at Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. – one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ class action law firms – representing hundreds of homeowners against 15 of the largest oil companies in the United States for allegations that the nearby 128 million-gallon petroleum storage facility caused air and groundwater contamination in the surrounding community. During her almost nine years at Cohen Milstein, Donna worked on complex litigation and class actions involving violations of consumer protection, environmental, products liability and antitrust laws. More recently, as a partner at Whitfield Bryson & Mason, Donna’s work continued to focus on consumer-oriented class-action litigation. For example, Donna spent time investigating the misleading nature of food packaging, and was involved in a ground-breaking lawsuit against several major industrial greenhouse gas emitters for damages to the Inupiat Eskimo Village of Kivalina in northwest Alaska caused by global warming. Donna also led a group of attorneys in litigating an action alleging violations of California’s consumer protection statutes in federal court in California, resulting in a negotiated nationwide settlement for the class valued at over $10 million. Donna graduated from the University of Florida College of Law, with honors, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Florida Journal of International Law, authoring a note entitled ISO 14000: Emerging International Environmental Law, 10 Fla. J. Int’l L. 275 (1996) and a comment entitled Forum Non Conveniens and the International Plaintiff, 9 Fla. J. Int’l L. (1995).
  • Elizabeth “Eli” Holmes joined CFS in 2011 as a Staff Attorney. Eli focuses her work on the CFS campaign against factory farming, and assists on CFS’s general litigation docket related to food safety matters. Eli holds a LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the University of Oregon, a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, a M.A. in French from Middlebury College and a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College. Eli recently co-authored “Power, Politics and Poison: The Story Behind National Cotton Council of America v. U.S. EPA.” 41 Environmental Law Reporter 10946 (10-2011). Prior to joining CFS, Eli served as a judicial law clerk in the Massachusetts Trial Court Probate and Family Court Department and worked in private practice. She has worked on a variety of environmental cases involving such issues as CAFOs, the BP oil spill, proposed statewide waivers of environmental protections, misapplications of pesticides, biopiracy, and Walmart expansions. While at the University of Oregon, Eli served as a clerk to the Vice Chair of the United Nations’ European Economic Commission’s Aarhus Convention’s Compliance Committee. The Compliance Committee enforces access to information, public participation, and justice in environmental matters. Eli has traveled extensively, and has lived in Europe and West Africa.
  • Elizabeth Kucinich comes to CFS from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), where she advocated prevention over cure, nutrition over drugs, and human-relevant research and training over the use of animals. Before joining PCRM, she was a congressional liaison for the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. Elizabeth serves as a board director of several notable organizations including Sean Penn’s Haitian relief organization, J/P HRO, and the Rodale Institute. Elizabeth is the Executive Producer of “GMO OMG”, a documentary exploring genetic engineering in agriculture and food production (, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013. She is also a producer of “Hot Water”, a documentary about the nuclear industry, uranium mining and the radioactive pollution of our water ( “Hot Water” premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival in March 2013. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Dennis Kucinich, a former US Congressman and two-time US Presidential candidate. They share their home and garden with three rescue dogs, Harry, Lucie and George; Falcon the cat and a hive of bees they lovingly refer to as their girls.
  • Heather Whitehead has two decades of campaign, advocacy and organizing experience. She has worked across the U.S. on several environmental, social justice and corporate campaigns, and has worked with groups including the Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, the Ruckus Society, CorpWatch, and the Genetic Engineering Action Network. She helped launch the True Food Network in 2000 and has been its director since 2003. Prior to joining CFS in 2005, Heather was the national markets campaigner with the genetic engineering campaign at Greenpeace, where she led the True Food Network’s successful campaign urging Trader Joe’s to transition to GE-free products. In addition to directing CFS’s online campaigns, Heather is the editor and lead writer of CFS’s quarterly newsletter Food Safety Now!, and is a contributing writer to Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. She also provided writing and editing for “Livestock Cloning and the Quest for Industrial Perfection” in CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories and “It’s Alive” in the 2008 edition of 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. She has served on the steering committees of the Genetic Engineering Action Network and Californians for GE-Free Agriculture. Heather has a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Political Science and a Master’s in Public Policy from Northwestern University.
  • Hudson Kingston joined the Center for Food Safety after working and learning in diverse locales and positions in international and environmental law. Hudson attended law school at the University of Iowa, where he travelled to India to work for Human Rights Law Network, then to DC to assist Earthjustice with its busy litigation docket. Following his J.D. he earned two LL.M. degrees from New York University and the National University of Singapore, and worked on international development in Laos. He then returned to DC, to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he refined his knowledge of NEPA and the relationship of politics and law in environmental policy. In previous lives he learned to bake in French bakeries and worked as a teacher, both of which prepared him for the varied work that CFS engages in on a daily basis.
  • Jaydee Hanson started in 2004 and works as a policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety on issues related to nanotechnology, animal cloning and animal genetic engineering. He also works for the Center’s sister agency, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) where he directs their work on human genetics, synthetic biology and nanotechnology. He is the US co-chair for the Nanotechnology Taskforce of the Transatlantic Consumers Dialogue and a fellow of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future. From 1986-2004 he worked as an environmental and social justice advocacy for the United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society. BA International Studies, Univ. of the Pacific (1977), MA Georgraphy and Resource Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa (1979)[10]
  • Jessica Daniels, Jess is a legal assistant with CFS and joined the dynamic legal team in 2013 after interning in the San Francisco office. She holds a B.A. from Brown University in Environmental Studies and Visual Art, where she focused on environmental justice and food systems. She is passionate about the many facets of food justice and has an interdisciplinary lens informed by a year studying abroad with the International Honors Program“Rethinking Globalization” field school in India, Tanzania, New Zealand, and Mexico. Prior to joining CFS, she worked as a youth urban farming educator in Rhode Island and New York, and provided research and design consultation for the forthcoming Providence Foodshed Justice Mapping Project. In her free time, Jess loves to make art projects and vegan food with local ingredients.
  • Larissa Walker joined the CFS team in 2012 after completing a year of post graduate work on a small organic farm and a nationally recognized farm-to-table restaurant. Prior to that, Larissa held positions in local and state government offices where she worked on policy issues concerning agriculture, groundwater, energy efficiency, and environmental justice. Larissa has also served several nonprofit organizations as an educator, project coordinator, and environmental policy researcher in addition to her time spent as a legal fellow at Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. Larissa has presented her research at numerous national conferences and received a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy Design from Lehigh University. She also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from Siena College. Larissa is originally from New York and has a particular fondness for the Catskill Mountains, heirloom tomatoes, and owls.
  • Lisa Bunin, PhD joined CFS as a Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow, with a long history of environmental activism, having led successful international, national, and local campaigns on toxic pollution, clean production, and genetic engineering. At Greenpeace International in Europe, she launched a winning campaign that culminated in a global ban on the burning of toxic waste at sea through the United Nations. In the US, she worked with Greenpeace to bring the first certified organic cotton clothing to market. Lisa was instrumental in securing a Santa Cruz County-wide moratorium on the planting of genetically engineered crops, as a member of the Public Health Commission’s Genetic Engineering Advisory Board and co-editor of its investigative report. Lisa received her Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology from UC Santa Cruz where she studied organic cotton production systems and markets, conducting field research at sites in India, Switzerland, and California. She has taught college courses on environmental policy, nature and society, and social movements. Prior to joining CFS, Lisa worked as an independent policy consultant on sustainable agriculture issues with government agencies and NGOs such as the Ecological Farming Association, Environmental Commons and Sustainable Cotton Project.
  • Paige Tomaselli is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Food Safety, where she works on law and policy related to genetically engineered crops, organic standards, factory farming, and other food safety issues. Previously, she served as Staff Attorney for Sher Leff, representing public water suppliers and public agencies in cases involving groundwater contamination and toxic torts. Paige is a dedicated environmental advocate, with a focus on animal welfare and food safety issues. She co-wrote a chapter in the recently released CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, entitled “Changing the Law: The Road to Reform.” She is on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Permaculture Guild, a volunteer for the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, and involved in a variety of projects geared towards creating a secure food supply in San Francisco. Paige holds a J.D. from Vermont Law School, where she was a member of the Environmental and Natural Resources Litigation Clinic, published an international comparative animal welfare article through the Animal Legal and Historical Center, and spent time at the University of Siena, Italy, studying international law.
  • Ryan Crumley is a legal assistant with CFS and joined the dynamic legal team in early 2011. He has almost 4 years of litigation experience, including a top internationally ranked law firm. Ryan has served at several non-profit environmental organizations as both an international and program research assistant. He is devoted to sustainable agriculture, eating in season, supporting local CSA farmers, and convinced that the most radical thing an environmentalist can do is become a farmer. Ryan possesses a bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from UC Berkeley and plans to study glaciers and climate change in graduate school. He is a devoted alpinist and originally from the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.
  • Sarah Stevens is a Program Assistant with CFS and focuses on organic policy and pollinator health. Sarah joined CFS in 2011 after working as an environmental educator in Oregon teaching students about ecology through field-based prairie restoration projects. She holds a B.A. from Colby College where she majored in Environmental Policy and Biology. During college, Sarah interned with the Conservation Law Foundation researching policy issues ranging from fisheries management to energy efficiency. In addition to policy and conservation research projects, Sarah has worked as a naturalist in Colorado and a river guide in Maine.
  • Sharon Perrone joined CFS from South Jersey after four years of working on organic farms and receiving degrees in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Italian Studies from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. At CFS, Sharon focuses on the Save Our Seeds campaign and facilitating outreach. In her spare time, Sharon works as a weekend vendor for a farmers market creamery, engages in extreme backyard gardening, and collects heirloom seeds.
  • Susanna Beck is the Development Manager for the Center for Food Safety. Before joining CFS, Susanna managed the fundraising department at the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association (FMSA), the non-profit partner of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Prior to FMSA, Susanna worked with several international development organizations including Sustainable Harvest International in Surry, Maine and Global Service Corps in Arusha, Tanzania. Susanna has a strong interest in food and agriculture issues and focused her M.A. in International Relations on this topic. Her master’s thesis, Systemic Barriers to Agroecology: A Comparative Analysis of Mexico, Paraguay and Cuba, explored the relationship between international trade and food sovereignty in three different regions of Latin America.
  • Sylvia Wu is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Food Safety, where she works on law and policy related to genetically engineered crops, factory farming, aquaculture, pesticides, and other food safety issues. Sylvia joined CFS as a full-time Legal Fellow in 2011, having previously worked at CFS as a law clerk. Sylvia holds a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she authored a paper on the legal implications of the use of genetically engineered wine yeast in the U.S. wine industry. During law school, Sylvia also worked as a kitchen intern at Corso Trattoria, learning the art of rustic Italian cooking. Sylvia is on the leadership team of Slow Food USA’s East Bay Chapter, as well as the Board of Directors for Planting Justice, an Oakland-based non-profit organization, and is involved in various projects promoting local economy and urban agriculture in the East Bay.
  • Tonja Moore has 18 years experience working in office management and administration in both the corporate and legal environments. Prior to managing offices, she worked as a paralegal and legal secretary. For the last 10 years she has run her own event production company, Moody Moore Productions, to raise awareness and funds for local charities. Tonja is responsible for all facets of operations management including human resources, payroll, facilities & office management, supervision of junior staff, network administration and assisting accounting with accounts receivables & payables.
  • Christina Stafford, International Program Assistant (only with International Center for Technology Assistance), Christina joined the ICTA in 2010 as the International Program Assistant. Christina also works with the CoolFoods and International Programs on agriculture and climate change. She is a graduate of Kent State University’s School of Journalism with a degree in Public Relations and a focus in Political Science. While at Kent State, she spent a semester studying international politics in Geneva, Switzerland, and a semester in Washington, D.C., as part of the Washington Program in National Issues. Following graduation, she spent some time interning on Capitol Hill; volunteering in Punta Gorda, Belize working with communities on sustainable methods of farming; and working at an International Public Relations Agency.


See also AEI report, “Let Them Eat Precaution”. CFS has strong financial ties to the organic and natural products industries. CFS budgets and staff have grown substantially in recent years: 2008: $1,568,558 2009: $1,535,389 2010: $2,077,555 2011: $2,908,093 2012: $7,241,156

Foundations which have given CFS money include:

  • David H. Smith Foundation
  • Panta Rhea Foundation
  • Pettus-Crowe Foundation Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems Foundation
  • ZZYZX Foundation
  • Firedoll Foundation
  • Vervane, Inc.
  • Norcross Wildlife Foundation
  • Marbrook Foundation
  • Elizabeth Ordway Dunn Foundation
  • Sacharuna Foundation
  • Fred Gellert Family Foundation
  • Prentice Foundation
  • Patagonia, Inc.
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare
  • Gaia Fund
  • Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation
  • Changing Horizons Fund
  • Benjamin J. Rosenthal Foundation
  • Bellona USA Foundation
  • Alida R. Messinger Charitable Lead Trust
  • Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Park Foundation
  • John Merck Fund
  • Marisla Foundation
  • Harold K. Hochschild Foundation
  • Foundation for Deep Ecology
  • Educational Foundation of America
  • David B. Gold Foundation
  • David & Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Compton Foundation
  • Columbia Foundation
  • Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation
  • Carolyn Foundation
  • Boston Foundation
  • Berman Family Foundation
  • Wallace Genetic Foundation


See book Let Them Eat Precautionchapter by Jay Byrne.




  • Andrew Kimbrell, The Fatal Harvest Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture. (illustrated), Island Press, 2002 ISBN 1-55963-944-X
  • Andrew Kimbrell, Joseph Mendelson, Monsanto vs. U.S. farmers. Center for Food Safety (U.S.) report, 2005


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