The Food Integrity Campaign (FIC) is a program of the Government Accountability Project (GAP). GAP is a non-profit 501(c)3 headquartered in Washington, DC.
GAP understands that everybody eats and everybody is affected by the integrity of the food production system. Food industry whistleblowers have been bringing their concerns to GAP for more than three decades, with disclosures about:
In the early 1980s, GAP famously helped whistleblowers expose how new, highly-mechanized poultry processing plants, coupled with federal deregulation, were contributing to mass contamination. GAP was instrumental in fighting the proposed deregulation, first during the Reagan administration and then during that of George H.W. Bush. Under the Clinton administration, children died from E.coli-tainted Jack-in-the-Box hamburgers, confirming the warnings of whistleblowers. GAP redoubled its efforts and brought their disclosures to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Secretary Mike Espy immediately visited the GAP office, working with our staff and our whistleblowers to reverse course and stop a proposed Streamline Inspection System program that was to be ratified.
In the 1990s, GAP was also integral to the “Food Lion wars.” During that national debacle, GAP worked with Food Lion employees to expose serious problems in ground meat preparation that the organization eventually took to ABC’s Primetime Live. Media coverage was powerful enough to make the stock of Food Lion’s parent company plummet. In the years that followed, GAP successfully fought off a subpoena from Food Lion for investigative materials and, ultimately, shielded the identities of the whistleblowers who exposed the corporation’s dangerous practices.
In November 2009, GAP held a conference at the American University Washington College of Law that addressed the many transparency and accountability issues that arise in industrial agriculture. It was clear there was urgent need for reform, and from that conference, FIC was born.
The Campaign confronts food integrity issues facilitating truth-telling within the industry. The food supply is increasingly in the hands of agri-business giants, but FIC significantly levels the playing field between industry and consumers by protecting the rights of individuals who witness practices that compromise food integrity. Together, whistleblowers and advocates all have the power to improve the food production practices in America.