Summary: Lawmakers urged the FDA to reform domestic third-party audits in the food industry after an investigation into the cantaloupe Listeria outbreak – that killed 30 people last year – revealed "inherent conflicts of interest." Jensen Farms, the cantaloupe producer tied to the outbreak, received a passing audit score of 96 days before the contaminated melons were distributed. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign Director, Amanda Hitt, is quoted.
Key Quote: "The take-home of this is they [private auditors] are not a substitute for government inspection. They don't do the same things, they don't produce the same results, and they don't lead to food safety," said Amanda Hitt of the Food Integrity Campaign in Washington, D.C.
Summary: In light of last year’s scandals in the Pasco County Housing Authority in Florida, the agency has released a new employee handbook with guidelines on how to seek whistleblower protections if any employee has concerns about the agency.
Last year, the agency faced controversy when a whistleblower suit alleged major mismanagement and accused the now-former executive director of sexual relations with subordinates.
Summary: A new billboard in Washington, DC has sparked controversy with its message “Free Bradley Manning.” The billboard is on a route that connects the city to Fort Meade, MD, meaning many military personnel see it. Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks, had his pre-trial hearing last month.
Summary: An Austin Police Department crime lab whistleblower recently filed a compliant, claiming that hundreds of cases since 2005 have been mishandled. The Texas Department of Public Safety is now investigating.
Summary: Six whistleblower suits have been filed against the Veterans Affairs Department, claiming termination or harassment for speaking out about problems at medical facilities.
Summary: According to a recent Bloomberg report, healthcare company Omnicare faces a lawsuit from a former employee who claims the company overcharged the federal and state governments for medications.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.