Summary: The recent uproar over 'pink slime' – the ammoniated beef filler product – has shown “how social media have given activists and consumers a powerful weapon to influence [the agricultural] process.” In turn, Big Ag has ramped up its lobbying efforts, and “launched social media campaigns about farm life and trained their peers on how to tweet critical food bloggers.”
Key Quote: BPI idled three plants, affecting 650 workers. AFA Foods, one of the largest ground beef processors in the country, filed for bankruptcy in early April, citing the uproar over pink slime. Agribusiness giant Cargill cut production of the meat scraps and warned the public's resistance to the filler could lead to higher hamburger prices this barbecue season. Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Kroger Co, among other grocery sellers, dropped it.
"What do you have to hide?" is the new battle cry for food activists, said Amanda Hitt, a director at the Government Accountability Project, a group that protects whistleblowers.
Summary: In her third and final column subbing for Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack summarizes the case against, and recent arraignment of, former CIA agent John Kiriakou, the sixth intelligence whistleblower to be indicted under the Espionage Act by the Obama administration.
Summary: A recently released study found that 50 percent of observed misconduct is not reported in the financial services industry, and even when it is, it is unlikely that the information will make it to senior executives. According to the study, workers “fear retaliatory action, including losing their job, failing to get promoted, failing to get a bonus.”
Summary: A former UK ambassador has come out in support of Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks. The ex-ambassador will be giving a speech today at Cardiff University (England) on the importance of whistleblowers in democracy.
Summary: More coverage of the Infosys whistleblower, who revealed that the tech company has been engaged in visa fraud in order to bring lower-paid labor to the United States. Since his complaint, the whistleblower has faced major retaliation, including harassment, no work assignments, being denied bonuses, and receiving death threats.
Summary: AmMed Direct, a diabetic supply company, will pay $18 million to settle claims that it wrongly billed Medicare for diabetes testing equipment in a bait-and-switch scheme. The company advertized free cookbooks as a way to induce Medicare customers to call AmMed or its telemarketing sales department. The whistleblower who first brought this to light stands to receive $2.8 million from the settlement.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.