The UCSF Food Industry Documents Archive


The UCSF Industry Documents Library (IDL) is pleased to announce the launch of the Food Industry Documents Archive, a brand new collection of over 30,000 documents related to the food industry and its impact on public health. These documents, now available online for the first time, highlight marketing, research, and policy strategies used by food companies and trade groups, and reveal the communications and connections between industry, academic, and regulatory organizations. 

The Food Industry Documents Archive was created in collaboration with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

The Food Industry Documents were digitized and made available online through partnerships with other libraries, archives, and related organizations, bringing together historical and contemporary materials to support inquiry into long-standing industry practices. Major collections include: 

The Braga Brothers Collection (2,801 Documents): Selected documents from the Braga Brothers Collection at the University of Florida. The principal holdings in this collection are the administrative records of Louis V. Placé, Jr., vice president of the W.J. McCahan Sugar Refining and Molasses Company, who also served on the executive committee of the Sugar Institute and later helped initiate the Sugar Research Foundation 

DC Leaks Coca Cola Emails (346 Documents): internal emails obtained by DC Leaks, containing conversations between Coca Cola executives and Capricia Marshall, a communications consultant working with Coca Cola as well as the Clinton campaign, which describe a variety of strategies to defeat local and national public health policies regarding sugary beverages 

Robert Shank Papers (17,969 Documents): Contains selected documents from the Robert E. Shank Papers housed at the Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University, St. Louis. Shank was associated with the formation of standards for minimum dietary allowances by the National Research Council Food and Nutrition Board and served as a consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service, the Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense, the Pan American Health Organization, several food industry associations and government-sponsored nutrition programs in Latin America 

Additional collections will be added over the next year. 

Topics include: the Sugar Research Foundation, the International Sugar Research Foundation, the Sugar Institute, cane and beet sugar production, sugar-sweetened beverages, sugared snack foods advertised to children, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the National Research Council Food and Nutrition Board. 

These documents have been used as the source for a number of publications including: 

Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat, by Marion Nestle
Mother JonesBig Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies, by Gary Taubes and Cristin Kearns
New York TimesSugar Industry Long Downplayed Potential Harms, by Anahad O’Connor 

The Food Industry Documents Archive collection joins the existing Tobacco, Drug, and Chemical Industry Documents collections, allowing users to search across industries and identify common tactics used to sway scientific research, shape public opinion, and influence policies and regulations meant to protect public health.

Unveiling the UCSF Food Industry Documents Archive 

Video - Part 1:

Video - Part 2:

How to Access the Library at UCSF -
Presented by Rachel Taketa, UCSF Library Specialist

Persiscope Video:

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Website for the UCSF Documents Library


Press coverage:

New Archive Reveals How the Food Industry Mimics Big Tobacco to Suppress Science, Shape Public Opinion -
How the Food Industry Uses Big Tobacco Tactics to Manipulate the Public -
New Document Archive Could Open Litigation Against Junk Food Companies -