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.
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 the Social Media & Community 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.
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.