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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

A Message from Farmer Whistleblower & GAP Client Craig Watts

Craig Watts, December 01, 2015

Dear GAP Supporter:

Blowing the whistle on Perdue’s inhumane and unsafe practices has been life changing for my family and me. Before I opened my farm’s doors to the public, we were a small family leading a simple life - a farmer and schoolteacher trying to raise three children. But after a video documenting the conditions of Perdue chickens was released, my once quiet life was no more. As it turned out, the five-minute video would become a game changer for the poultry industry, and a life changer for me.

The Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign (FIC) was there from the beginning to help me navigate that change. FIC’s investigators visited my farm and walked my family and me through the dangers I would face as a whistleblower. I am thankful for this because when the video really hit the media, it was pretty evident that I was going to need all the advice I could get. I was flying blind in the wind defending myself until GAP officially took me in.

As my attorneys, GAP’s team filed a whistleblower complaint against Perdue for its actions after the video was released. Retaliation and intimidation is a common tactic used in the industry to keep farmers quiet. It was nice to have someone by my side to take on a big company like Perdue -- I was basically shielded from any additional retaliatory actions they might take. I had no idea whistleblower protections even existed and how serious GAP and its Food Integrity Campaign were about protecting those rights. Not only have they served as my legal counsel, they’ve also served as a backbone of support and friendship when I needed them.

I would absolutely refer GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign to another whistleblowing poultry farmer. Whistleblower protection is what they do. They are the standard. They care about the individual. They care about us.

Please consider supporting GAP’s efforts so other farmers like me can safely speak up!

Sincerely,

Craig Watts
Farmer & Friend of FIC
Fairmont, North Carolina

Learn more about Craig’s story here!