Summary: GAP's Food Integrity Campaign Director Amanda Hitt authored this op-ed on why Utah's proposed "Ag Gag" bill – which would outlaw undercover video at agricultural operations – silences whistleblowers and poses a threat to public health.
Unfortunately, Iowa's Gov. Terry Branstad signed his state's Ag Gag bill into law Friday, despite protests. FIC blogged about why Iowa's bill would have a chilling effect on food industry whistleblowers.
Summary: GAP and the National Taxpayers Union have started a petition calling for the US Department of Treasury not to bailout international development banks without the institutions all first implementing whistleblower protections. These banks are immune from national oversight and laws, and whistleblowers are often one of the only defenses against corruption.
Summary: BP has reached a settlement with victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. The company expects to pay nearly $8 billion for a variety of claims including health problems, property damage, loss of business, among others.
Just prior to this settlement, GAP highlighted documents provided by a whistleblower showing that BP knew about the toxicity of oil dispersant they used, and the oil itself, and the health problems it could cause.
In related news, Al Jazeera is reporting seeing a large area of sea covered in oil sheen near Macondo 252, the area where Deepwater Horizon happened.
Summary: This columnist argues that, despite the enormous amounts of money whistleblowers help recover, there still exists institutional resistance at the IRS to whistleblowers. The agency’s whistleblower program could be much more effective; IRS has only paid out one reward to a whistleblower since the program was enacted in 2006.
Summary: Rick Piltz of Climate Science Watch – a GAP-sponsored program – lauds the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court in throwing out a lawsuit related to the work of a former University of Virginia climate scientist.
Key Quote: [Virginia Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli’s global warming denial machine fishing expedition had been criticized even by climate ‘skeptics’ who are no friends of Prof. Mann. It raised the chilling question of whether the university could protect researchers’ ability to privately and freely correspond with one another.
Summary: The state of Hawaii must pay $90,000 in a whistleblower settlement that alleged state officials failed to comply with environmental laws.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.