Andrew Kimbrell is an internationally recognized public interest attorney, public speaker, and author. He is the founder and Executive Director of Center for Food Safety. He also is Director of the San Francisco based Center for Technology Assessment, co-founder of Foundation Earth, and President of the Board of Humane Farm Animal Care (that administers the Certified Humane label).
As an attorney, Kimbrell has successfully challenged federal agencies in several historic court cases. He initiated the court challenge that resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court victory forcing, for the first time, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change. He also pioneered the legal strategy that led to the Supreme Court ruling that DNA is not patentable due to being a "product of nature." Through his leadership at CFS, Kimbrell has been at the forefront of legal challenges to genetically engineered crops and lawsuits forcing FDA to adopt new food safety regulations. His legal work has also helped maintain the integrity of organic standards.
As an author and public speaker Kimbrell has been a leading proponent of regenerative forms of agriculture and organic policies. He is the editor of the nationally renowned book Fatal Harvest, The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and the author of Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. Kimbrell's articles and editorials have appeared in The New York Times, Harpers, USA Today, and numerous other print and new media publications such as The Huffington Post.
He has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress and has been a featured speaker at dozens of colleges and universities around the country and other public forums including Google Author Talks, Slow Food Nation, Bioneers and Ecofarm. He is featured in several documentaries including "The Future of Food," "FRESH," and a critique of genetic engineering, "Life Running out of Control."
Kimbrell is also a noted expert on a wide range of technology and economic issues. His works in this area include his international best-selling book The Human Body Shop: the Engineering and Marketing of Life and the printed versions of his influential E.F. Schumacher lectures, "Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics" and "Salmon Economics."
In addition to his legal degree Kimbrell also has a graduate degree in Psychology and has often written in the field including his book, The Masculine Mystique. Besides his public interest work, Kimbrell's passions include his love of piano (stemming from his earlier career as a concert pianist), poetry, baseball, and wilderness fly fishing.
Kimbrell's many accolades include a spot on the Utne Reader list of the world's leading 100 visionaries, and The Guardian recognizing him in 2008 as one of the 50 people "most likely to save the planet."
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.
George Kimbrell is CFS’s Legal Director, overseeing all of the Center’s legal work. Along with his Director duties, George is counsel in many CFS cases. His legal, legislative, and policy work runs the gamut of many CFS program areas, including pesticides, genetically engineered organisms, animal factory pollution, food labeling, foodborne illness, organic standards, and aquaculture. Among other landmark cases, George was counsel in the first U.S. Supreme Court case on the regulation of genetically engineered crops. He received his law degree magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he now teaches food and agriculture law as an adjunct professor. He has authored numerous law review articles and other publications, and often speaks on all areas of food and agriculture law and industrial agriculture’s impacts on the environment and public health. Before joining CFS in 2005, George completed a clerkship with the Honorable Ronald M. Gould, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Tonja 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.
Amy is a Senior Attorney in the Center for Food Safety's Portland, Oregon office. After clerking for CFS in law school, Amy joined CFS as an attorney in 2015. As part of CFS's legal team, Amy practices environmental and administrative law to defend farmers, communities, and the environment from industrial animal factories, aquaculture, genetically engineered crops and animals, and the overuse of toxic pesticides, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Amy also works to protect the integrity of organic and ensure the transparent labeling of genetically engineered foods. A 2011 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, Amy has focused her legal education and career on public interest environmental and food law, earning a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Prior to joining CFS, Amy served as a volunteer attorney with Earthjustice working on animal factories on the East Coast, and then litigated complex environmental insurance cases at a law firm in Manhattan. Amy is admitted to the bar in Oregon and New York.
Ashley Lukens is the Hawaii Program Director for Center for Food Safety. Her work focuses on issues of human and environmental health as they relate to the food system. She has her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where her research examined community-led efforts to develop culturally appropriate strategies for food system transformation. During grad school, she was also a Sea Grant Graduate Trainee, working at Kakoo Oiwi to document the impact of shifting land use practices in He‘eia wetland and the community-led efforts develop culturally appropriate ecosystem management strategies. Ashley is a founding member and the Vice President of the Hawaii Food Policy Council and continues to teach Political Science courses at UH Manoa and UH West Oahu.
Audrey Leonard is a Legal Fellow in the Center for Food Safety's Portland, Oregon office. She graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2020, where she earned a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law and was the Editor in Chief of Environmental Law review. During law school, she worked for Lewis & Clark's Earthrise Law Center and was an active volunteer with the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. She is drawn to environmental litigation and advocacy as an opportunity to be equally creative and analytical. Audrey grew up on a farm in rural Indiana, and is passionate about supporting sustainable, regenerative farming practices. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University, where she competed on the equestrian team. In her spare time, Audrey enjoys biking, exploring the local food scene in Portland, and taking her dog hiking and camping.
Bill Freese is the Science Director for the Center for Food Safety. Bill 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.
Brenna Norton is the Development Manager for the Center for Food Safety. She brings over 10 years of experience on environmental and political campaigns to CFS, including managing the grassroots campaign that secured the first legislation to ban fracking in California, halting water privatization attempts in Los Angeles, and working to stop one of the largest corporate agriculture water grabs in California's history.
Before joining CFS, Brenna worked as a Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch in Los Angeles where she had the opportunity to initiate the legal strategy and file a joint lawsuit with Center For Food Safety to challenge the nation's largest water agency and protect clean, affordable water in California. She has also worked for prominent organizations like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, managed field offices for the 2008 presidential campaign, worked in a Senate committee office, and is a former professional ballet dancer. Brenna has authored numerous op-eds and legislation and has been featured in outlets like LA Times, Sacramento Bee, AP, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, LA Daily News, and San Diego Tribune.
Che Fitchett is a Legal Fellow at Center for Food Safety's San Francisco office, and is currently in his final year of law school at U.C. Hastings. At Hastings, he is an active member of both the Environmental Law Association and Environmental Law Journal. He also competed in the PACE Environmental Law Moot Court competition during the Spring 2020 semester. He enjoys running, baking bread, and playing with his cat, Ruby. Che was previously a law clerk at CFS and is excited to continue working at CFS as a Lawyers for America fellow.
Jaydee Hanson is the Policy Director for the Center for Food Safety. His expertise includes emerging technology issues related to nanotechnology, synthetic biology, animal cloning, animal genetic engineering and gene editing.
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, genome editing and nanotechnology. He has a Master's degree in Biogeography and Resource Management from the University of Hawai'i. Before coming to the Center, he worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service, started both the environmental justice program of the United Methodist Church and their genetics and bioethics program. He is a co-author of the Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology, the US co-chair for the Nanotechnology Taskforce of the Transatlantic Consumers Dialogue, a member of the synthetic biology experts committee for the Convention on Biological Diversity and a fellow of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future.
Joey Lee is the Digital Manager for the Center for Food Safety. Before joining CFS, Joey managed social media and email advocacy campaigns for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Joey led the #KFCSaveABX campaign at CSPI, which persuaded KFC to commit to only serve chicken raised without medically-important antibiotics. Prior to CSPI, Joey worked as the Recipe Editor and Partnerships Manager for Meatless Monday/The Monday Campaigns. Joey started The Kids Cook Monday campaign in 2009, which encourages families to begin each week cooking and eating together. Joey pitched and contributed guest blog posts and recipe content to media such as Prevention Magazine, Grandparents.com, and Parade Magazine. Joey graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Political Studies in 2008 after writing her senior project, From Al Gore to Michael Moore: The uses for contemporary political film and its skittish American audience. In her spare time, Joey can be found cooking, watching documentaries, and writing poetry.
Julia Ranney is the Research and Policy Associate for the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C. She is originally from Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from Oberlin College in 2018 with a B.A. in Politics. During college, she studied food security and sustainability abroad in four different countries and eventually wrote her thesis about the Green Revolution in Africa. Ever since she watched Food Inc. in her early adolescence, Julia has been curious about food systems and its many intersections. After a year of interning, she is excited to continue supporting CFS' s research and policy work.
Dr. Margaret Mellon is a science consultant for CFS. Dr. Mellon is a respected expert on biotechnology, antibiotics and food safety. She holds a doctorate in molecular biology and a law degree from the University of Virginia.
In 1993, Dr. Mellon founded the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to promote the adoption of science-based farming systems that are simultaneously productive, environmentally benign, and resilient in the face of stress. Dr. Mellon has published widely on the potential environmental impacts of biotechnology applications. She is co-author of Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops and Hogging It!: Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock and co-editor of Now or Never: Serious New Plans to Save a Natural Pest Control.
She served three terms on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture and for many years taught a popular course in biotechnology and the law at the Vermont Law School. She was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994.
A widely quoted expert on biotechnology, Dr. Mellon regularly appears on ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and NPR, as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many other major media outlets. She lectures widely on sustainable agriculture, biotechnology, and antibiotic issues.
Maria Juur is the Press and Social Media Manager for the Center for Food Safety. Maria joined CFS's Los Angeles office in 2015, where she coordinated several large-scale video and event productions, including a shoot at Neil Young's The Monsanto Years tour in Colorado and Nebraska. In 2017-2018, Maria was supporting CFS's legislative work in Hawaii. She now manages CFS's press efforts, national social media channels, and website.
Maria was born in Tallinn, Estonia, a few years prior to the collapse of the USSR. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the Estonian Academy of Arts and a Master's from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Meredith Stevenson is the Associate Attorney at Center for Food Safety's San Francisco office. She graduated from the University of California Hastings in 2019, where she studied environmental law. At Hastings, she was an active member of Hastings Environmental Law Association and a staff editor for Hastings Environmental Law Journal. Before attending law school, she developed a passion for gardening as a volunteer coordinator at Western Washington University's community garden. There, she taught workshops on producing compost, growing mushrooms, and saving seeds, while also educating the larger student body as a member of Students for Sustainable Food. In her free time, she enjoys long distance hiking, playing music, and riding her bicycle.
Pearl McLeod is the Development Coordinator for the Center for Food Safety. Pearl is a Bay Area transplant and Berkeley alum hailing from East Coast Canada. She studied Sociology and Food Systems at Cal and has worked at several local non-profits including the Center for Environmental Health and, most recently, Save the Redwoods League. She is passionate about working to improve our food systems and is eager to learn more about all the amazing work happening at CFS. In her free time, Pearl loves the outdoors and always welcomes new hiking, skiing, or camping recommendations around California.
Russell Howze is the Legal Assistant for the Center for Food Safety. Before joining CFS, Russell was a paralegal with the Center for Biological Diversity's Environmental Health program. Growing up in a rural town in South Carolina, some of his earliest memories are of weeding gardens and eating vegetables straight out of the ground. Russell has worked with many nonprofits over the years, most memorably as a co-manager of the CELLspace arts warehouse, as a "grassroots carny" with the Sustainable Living Roadshow, and as a puppeteer with the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew. Russell also wrote the book "Stencil Nation" (Manic D Press) and runs a street art website. In his spare time, Russell makes stencils, gives art tours, and reads books.
Ryan Talbott is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Food Safety's Portland, Oregon office. Ryan joined CFS in 2018 and practices environmental and administrative law to reduce the rate of foodborne illnesses and to improve consumers' access to information about what is in the food they eat. A 2012 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, Ryan has focused his legal education and career on public interest environmental law, earning a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Prior to joining CFS, Ryan worked for Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Allegheny Defense Project, where he defended public lands from the impacts of industrial fracking and pipeline construction. Ryan is admitted to the bar in Oregon and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sylvia Wu is a Senior Attorney/Managing Attorney, Hawaii & California offices 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. As an attorney with CFS, Sylvia has litigated against U.S. federal agencies over approval of herbicide-resistant genetically engineered crops and their associated pesticide use, the approval of pesticides that are harming pollinators and other sensitive species, as well as approval of industrial offshore aquaculture systems that will pollute our oceans and marine resources. Through legislative efforts and litigation, Sylvia also works with local communities to defend communities' right to protect themselves against the harms of industrial agriculture. Sylvia holds a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Sylvia is involved in various projects promoting local economy and urban agriculture in the Bay Area.
Victoria "Tori" Yundt is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Food Safety's San Francisco, California office, where she is in charge of CFS's Freedom of Information Act litigation and practices environmental and administrative law related to genetically engineered crops, factory farming, pesticides, and other food safety issues. Tori first joined CFS in 2017 as a Lawyers for America fellow before graduating from the University of California Hastings in 2018, where she studied environmental law and was a senior editor for Hastings Environmental Law Journal. As a law student, she also studied international human rights law and interned at Just Atonement Inc., a human rights legal nonprofit, from 2016 to 2017. Prior to law school, Tori received an M.S. in Sustainability, Development and Peace from the United Nations University in Tokyo.