Summary: A whistleblower who came to GAP's Food Integrity Campaign (FIC) raising concerns about USDA's plan to deregulate poultry inspection (by expanding a pilot program known as HIMP) was interviewed on ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer last night. The whistleblower, a USDA inspector who has worked in a HIMP plant, told the reporter how inspectors can only "sit and watch" the birds fly by. Director of FIC, Amanda Hitt, is also quoted in the online story.
GAP's Food Integrity Campaign blogged about ABC's need to disguise the whistleblower in the video news story in order to protect the inspector from whistleblower retaliation.
ABC reported that USDA has decided to extend the public comment period on HIMP, in order to respond to concerns. Please sign GAP's petition calling on the agency to reject the plan.
Key Quote: “I think that there needs to be a critical evaluation of this program,” said Amanda Hitt, director of the Food Integrity Campaign, an organization that empowers industry whistleblowers and citizen activists. “People need to have an opportunity to question some of these results and different things that the agency is coming up with in regard to the safety of this program.
“We’re listening to the people that are actually doing [the inspections] and they’re saying unequivocally the traditional inspection produces higher quality and safer poultry,” Hitt said.
Related: Food Safety News
Summary: The Deepwater Horizon disaster has led to major public health problems. GAP has been investigating, and witnesses report respiratory problems, seizures, skin irritation, and liver and kidney damage, among other serious ailments. GAP has also called out BP for their contradictory statements on the toxicity of oil dispersant chemicals. GAP plans to release a full report this summer.
Key Quote: “Over twenty-five whistleblowers in our investigation have reported the worst public health tragedies of any investigation in GAP’s thirty-five-year history,” Shanna Devine, GAP legislative campaign coordinator, told me.
Related Article: Times-Picayune (LA)
Summary: This piece argues that the failure of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria’s current Minister of Finance) to be chosen as the next World Bank president shows an undercurrent of racial discrimination “that continues to erode [the World Bank’s] legitimacy and credibility from Africans’ perspective.”
Key Quote: The damning statements, which are based on the Bank's own 2011 diversity report, are corroborated by external reports. For example, in a 2009, op-ed article in Foreign Policy in Focus, Bea Edwards, the Executive Director of Government Accountability Project, wrote about "breathtakingly racist incidents" in the Bank and went on to note an unnamed World Bank vice president, who is quoted in the Bank's diversity report saying "We are not likely to treat our clients better than we treat one another."
Summary: A federal judge has granted a journalist’s motion for the release of redacted corporate monitor reports written by now-Deputy Attorney General James Cole when he worked as a liaison to AIG just before the financial collapse in 2008. GAP was critical of Cole’s appointment as Deputy Attorney General.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.