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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

Food Integrity Campaign

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Food Integrity Campaign highlights:

  • Program launched November 20, 2009 at Empowering Employees to Protect Food Integrity, a national conference held jointly by GAP and the American University College of Law.  
  • Mission and long-term objective: Enhance overall food integrity by facilitating truth telling.
  • Specific actions: Work to alter the relationship of power between the food industry and consumers; protecting the rights of those who speak out against the practices that compromise food integrity; and empowering food integrity whistleblowers and citizen activists. FIC fights alongside food safety whistleblowers in support of their “right to tell” and the consumers’ “right to know.”
  • Strategy: To advocate for stronger whistleblower protections; build strong coalitions and alliances that advance the common cause of food integrity; investigate, document, and relay whistleblower stories; educate and empower potential whistleblowers and their allies; and offer legal support to whistleblowers wronged by industry or government.

Major campaigns: 

  1. Exposing Pink Slime: GAP client and former Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) employee Kit Foshee exposed BPI’s false claims about the safety of the beef the company treated with ammonia and mixed into its ground beef product. 
  2. HIMP: GAP launched an in-depth inquiry into the USDA’s proposed poultry inspection scheme, HIMP (or HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project). HIMP was an idea conceived by the USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) that would allow greater corporate “self-policing” of the poultry industry, fewer inspectors, and doubled line speeds. GAP has lead the fight against HIMP and works in partnership with nearly 30 individuals inside the industry, including whistleblowers such as 44-year  poultry industry veteran and recently retired USDA Meat Inspector, Phyllis McKelvey. GAP also leads the social media component of the poultry rule campaign, aggressively tweeting, blogging, and Facebooking about new developments. Though currently stalled, HIMP and its future are still unclear. 
  3. AG-Gag: Without undercover video, disturbing humane handling issues of animals on agricultural farms would easily be swept under the rug. GAP  immediately saw the wave of proposed laws prohibiting videos as having a chilling effect on whistleblowers who might expose issues of public interest, including atrocities to animals, threats to food, harm to workers, and potential dangers to the environment. GAP leads the fight against Ag-Gag and is an active member of the Ag-Gag coalition. In 2013, GAP helped defeat Ag-Gag in each of the eleven states where it was introduced. Nonetheless, Ag-Gag legislation continues to surface, most recently in Indiana, Colorado, and New Hampshire.