Summary: GAP’s Tom Devine appeared on this past weekend's episode of On The Media (OTM) to discuss the state of federal whistleblower protections. This segment aired one year after GAP teamed with OTM to reveal which senator placed the ‘secret hold’ that killed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act for the 2009-10 congressional session.
This episode also included an interview segment with Carolyn Lerner, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency charged with investigating whistleblower disclosures. Lerner and Devine both discuss the case of Marine Corps whistleblower Franz Gayl.
Summary: Several FDA scientists and doctors filed suit last week against the agency for monitoring their personal email accounts. The surveillance program was enacted after the FDA staffers – whistleblowers – warned Congress that the agency was approving medical devices they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients. Information taken from these personal accounts “eventually contributed to the harassment or dismissal of all six of the FDA employees.”
Devices that the staffers raised concerns over included ones that, allegedly, would miss signs of breast cancer, give a false diagnosis for osteoporosis, and risk harm to fetuses while women are in labor, among others.
Summary: The federal government is considering the release of five top Taliban officials from Guantanamo Bay as a response to the Taliban’s recent announcement that it would open a political office in Qatar for international negotiations. GAP’s Jesselyn Radack contrasts the treatment of these Taliban officials to that of John Walker Lindh – the prosecuted American citizen member of the Taliban sentenced to 20 years – for charges that are minor in comparison. Radack blew the whistle on the Justice Department's treatment of Lindh near the beginning of the Afghanistan War.
Summary: Kaplan College has closed its dental program in Charlotte, North Carolina after student whistleblowers accused the school of misleading them about its accreditation. According to a local broadcast investigative program, the school was already being investigated by two state agencies for accreditation problems when they were approached by the students.
Summary: The state of New York has settled a whistleblower case with a medical center for allegedly violating state laws that prohibit doctors from referring patients to hospitals with whom those doctors have a financial relationship (with some exceptions). The hospital also settled with the US Attorney’s office for Medicare damages from some of those prohibited referrals.
Summary: A Kansas City meat company has been accused of selling 400,000 pounds of poultry that was processed without inspection and thus considered "adulterated." GAP's Food Integrity Campaign explains.