Erin Austin is the Program and Development Associate for the Center for Food Safety. Her passion for sustainable agriculture began in Austin, Texas where she was born and raised surrounded by a vibrant food community. Erin graduated from the University of Virginia with honors in Global Development Studies and Sustainability. While at UVA, Erin conducted research on the organic food industry in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil and created and ran an after-school health and wellness gardening program for a local elementary school. Before joining CFS, Erin worked with a variety of non-profits, foundations, and B-Corps supporting food access and sustainable agriculture programs. In her spare time, Erin can be found hiking, doing yoga, rock climbing, and cooking and eating good food.
While helping his family set up a small hops farm in his hometown of Frederick, Maryland, Evan started making connections between the food movement and his own life. At Center For Food Safety, he is continuing his work in promoting sustainable agriculture and sustainable food technologies through his work on the agroecology and emerging technologies programs. Evan has tended orchards in central Chile, built and designed vertical hydroponic systems, and gardens on his own plot of urban concrete. Graduating magna cum laude from American University with a degree in international development, he hopes to inspire changes in our food system with both his own work and as part of the larger food movement. He runs the Urban Vertical Project to promote smarter farming practices, and when he’s not working, he’s building up calluses on a rock climbing wall.
CFS Senior Attorney George Kimbrell 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.
Heather 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 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 digital campaigns and engagement, Heather was a contributing writer to Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food 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 and is an Impact Advisory Board member for Brigade. Heather holds a Master's in Public Policy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor's in Sociology and Political Science.
Jaydee Hanson works as the senior policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety on emerging technology issues related to nanotechnology, synthetic biology, 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 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 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.
Joshua was born and raised in the Ahupua’a of Kalihi Palama on the island of Oahu. He is a community organizer committed to creating a more food justice movement. Joshua got his start as a community leader standing up against a multi-million dollar development company looking to develop a massive urbanization development on state-zoned agricultural land. After two and one half years of organizing the grassroots community organization Aloha Aina No Ko’olau loa (loyal patriots with love of Ko’olau loa) along with their allies where able to claim victory when the City and County of Honolulu Zoning and Planning Committee rejected the plans for development halting the project completely. Reaching a critical point in his life and seeing the power of people united Joshua decided to live his values and joined Sierra Club of Hawaii as a community organizer. As a community organizer he worked on campaigns related to water rights, stream protection, and improving our local food system. Joshua lives in the Ahupua’a of Hauula in the Moku of Ko’olau loa with his wife and three children.
Kimiko LaHaela Walter is the Program Associate with the Hawaii office. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Sustainable Resource Management from the University of Washington, Seattle and an International M.Sc. in Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Freiburg, Germany. She has done extensive research-based work with various government and non-government organizations throughout her academic career. Forest and wildlife science has been the primary focus of her endeavors with agroforestry and sustainable agriculture at the periphery. Growing up in the beautiful locales of Washington state and Hawaii, she has always had a deep love and respect for nature. She enjoys taking her passions for nature protection, environmental sustainability, healthy nutrition, sustainable food systems, political and social activism, and community empowerment with her to work every day. Kimiko is also a devoted mother, an ardent yogi and enjoys spending her free time hiking, camping, beach lounging, and being active in her community.
Larissa Walker is the Pollinator Campaign Director and a policy analyst for Center for Food Safety. In her role, she integrates national grassroots campaigns with hard-hitting scientific and legal expertise, working with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and regulators at key government agencies to affect positive policy change. Larissa spearheads CFS’s pollinators & pesticides campaign, which focuses on protecting bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects from the harms of pesticides and industrial agriculture. Larissa centered her academic career around environmental policy and theory, with a specific focus on sustainable agriculture and U.S. food policy. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Policy Design from Lehigh University and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Philosophy. Larissa is originally from the Hudson Valley region of NY, and now as a resident of DC, she volunteers with FRESHFARM Markets, a regional nonprofit organization promoting local, sustainable food from the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Madeleine Carnemark works on the CFS Pollinators and Pesticides program, analyzing research for legal and legislative efforts, strategizing and developing materials for campaign initiatives, and engaging with the community through educational programs at the elementary and university level. Madeleine joined the CFS team in Washington, DC after graduating with honors from Tulane University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Madeleine’s love of both food and the environment started in her mother’s garden and continued to grow after living in the culinary rich but environmentally fragile city of New Orleans. Alongside working for local-grassroots efforts to support urban gardening and access to local food, Madeleine worked in the New Orleans restaurant industry and was inspired by the perspectives of the chefs she worked with, their relationship with the ecological fate of the gulf coast, and the interconnected nature of the food movement. Outside of work, Madeleine enjoys hiking with friends, spending time with her family, and going to concerts.
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.
Dr. Martha (Marti) Crouch provides scientific assistance to CFS, writing expert comments and reports, and analyzing scientific issues for the legal team. Marti was a graduate student at Yale University studying the development of seeds and flowers when genes were first cloned in the 1970s. By the time she headed her own plant molecular biology lab at Indiana University in the 1980s, plant genes were being patented. Prof. Crouch became concerned about potential impacts of genetic engineering in agriculture and her own contributions, and as a result shut down her research lab in the 1990s and taught courses on the intersections of technology, food and agriculture, with an emphasis on environmental impacts. In 2001, Marti left Indiana University to pursue independent consulting. She has given hundreds of lectures and seminars throughout the world, trained students, published research and commentary in peer-reviewed journals and books, participated on grant panels and in workshops, and attended and organized conferences in several different fields of study. Her background thus spans the whole history of genetic engineering in agriculture, as both a participant and a critic, giving Marti a valuable set of skills and perspectives for her work with CFS. Marti is also the official wild mushroom inspector at the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market, keeping the food in her hometown safe.
Monica is the office administrator for the San Francisco CFS Office. She was born and raised in sunny Southern California and moved to the Bay Area in 2010. In 2014, Monica helped start a cooperatively owned farm in Pinole focusing on pasture raised animals, which she refers to as her “morning job”. Monica received her undergraduate degree in food policy and international relations from San Francisco State University in 2013. In her spare time, Monica enjoys gardening both on the family farm in Union, Missouri and in the urban environments in West Oakland where she lives.
Nicole is Social Media Manager for Center for Food Safety. In her role she oversees CFS social media channels, developing and implementing strategies to advance the work of the organization.
She has years of campaigning, organizing, and advocacy experience. She has worked on a variety of food issues, including genetic engineering, plant-based nutrition, and urban agriculture, all at varying degrees of local, college, and corporate-level engagement. Recent successes in her advocacy work include getting major food companies, such as Unilever (Hellmann’s), Hershey’s, Abbott Laboratories (Similac), and Campbell’s to announce non-GMO and organic products. In addition to her work in sustainable agricultural campaign work she has worked and studied extensively in the areas of Fair Trade for food and products, as well as sustainable apparel.
She received her Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Policy with a focus on sustainable food systems from American University. Her graduate thesis research focused on industrial animal agriculture, particularly pig and chicken factory farms in North Carolina. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in French and another in Apparel Merchandising from Virginia Commonwealth University. As you can see, she is well-versed in a wide spectrum of environmental impact issue areas. She also follows a plant-based diet.
Paige Tomaselli is a Senior 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 represented public water suppliers and public agencies in cases involving groundwater contamination and toxic torts at Sher Leff, LLP. 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 frequently speaks at the premier sustainable agriculture and animal law conferences in the U.S., and in 2013, she traveled to Japan to speak to the Japanese Parliament and Ministers of Environment and Agriculture on the impacts of genetic engineering. In 2011, Paige participated in the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Agrochemical Transnational Corporations in Bangalore, India, where we presented dozens of cases illustrating how the sale and use of pesticides undermine internationally recognized rights to health, livelihood, and life to a panel of internationally recognized scholars and scientists. 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.
Patrick Riggs is a program assistant for Center for Food Safety’s climate change and agriculture work. He earned his B.A. magna cum laude in Environmental Studies and Documentary Filmmaking from Occidental College. As an undergraduate, Patrick researched the impact of state water projects on indigenous irrigation systems in Peru and the societal impacts of rising sea levels in small island communities off the coast of Panama. Before joining CFS, Patrick was a film editor and cinematographer for an adventure film company in Boulder, CO, and he worked as an independent contractor on a number of independent and commercial film projects. As a program assistant at CFS, Patrick brings his experience as a filmmaker and graphic designer to communicate CFS’ work through a variety of online and print media.
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. 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.