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Ag Gag Undercover #3: Nightmare on Ag Street

Today FIC released the third installment in our Ag Gag Undercover video campaign series, which aims to raise awareness about the controversial anti-whistleblower legislation. Please watch and share with your friends, family and colleagues!

Learn more about Ag Gag bills at foodwhistleblower.org/AgGag.

 
 

3/27: FIC Director on Ag Gag Panel at Georgetown University

Please join FIC and others next Wednesday, March 27 in Washington D.C. for a panel discussion on Ag Gag bills and their implications. Types of organizations represented on the panel include government watchdog groups, journalists, animal welfare groups, and free speech groups.

Behind Closed Doors: 'Ag Gag' Bills, Farm Animals, Food Safety and the First Amendment

Wednesday, March 27, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Georgetown University Law Center, McDonough Hall Room 201
600 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington D.C.

Please RSVP on Facebook!

Panelists:

  • Amanda Hitt, GAP Food Integrity Campaign Director
  • Suzanne McMillan, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Director of Farm video_cameraAnimal Welfare
  • Gabe Rottman, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Legislative Counsel and Policy Advisor for the Washington Legislative Office
  • Erica Meier, Compassion Over Killing (COK), Executive Director
  • Will Potter, Independent Journalist and Author of Green Is The New Red

A reception with catering from Everlasting Life will follow the panel.

 

Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.

 
 

Ag Gag Undercover #2: BUTT … Should it be Illegal?

Today FIC released the second video in our new campaign series, "Ag Gag Undercover." You can view the first video here.

Many states have introduced anti-whistleblower legislation, known as Ag Gag bills, that would criminalize individuals who take undercover video or photographs at agricultural facilities. FIC's short videos aim to raise awareness of these controversial bills and get at the heart of why they are problematic and an affront on truth-telling.

Learn more about Ag Gag bills at foodwhistleblower.org/AgGag.

 
 

GAP Offers Continuing Legal Education (CLE) on Food Safety Whistleblowing at American University

gavelLaw students, attorneys and other interested Washington D.C. residents should check out this Continuing Legal Education (CLE) panel next week at American University that's part of the half-day-long program featuring the Government Accountability Project's American Whistleblower Tour.

Representing Whistleblowers Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
American Univ. Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 6th Floor

A panel of experts in whistleblower law will provide nuts-and-bolts training on how to litigate cases under FSMA's whistleblower provision from the point of filing the initial complaint through to successful resolution. The panel will also provide an overview of food industry employees' rights under recent whistleblower legislation affecting government contractors.

Speakers will include:

  • Judge Luis A. Corchado, Administrative Review Board
  • Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project
  • Jeff Gulley, Food & Public Health Counsel, Government Accountability Project

The event is free and open for anyone to attend, but the school asks those who would attend to register here.

Two CLE credits will be applied for as requested. The cost for CLE registration is $110.

 

FIC Launches New Video Series "Ag Gag Undercover" to Fight Anti-Whistleblower Bills

Yesterday FIC released the first of several short videos in our new campaign series, "Ag Gag Undercover," to raise awareness about the controversial anti-whistleblower bills that have been introduced in many states this year. While the agriculture industry and legislative sponsors try to muddle the public with their reasons for the legislation, these videos aim to simply get at the heart of why Ag Gag bills are problematic and an affront on truth-telling.

Learn more about Ag Gag bills at foodwhistleblower.org/AgGag.

 
 

'American Whistleblower Tour' Brings Food Safety Whistleblower to American University

AWTfinalOn Wednesday, March 20, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) will bring the American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability to American University (AU). The Tour stop will feature whistleblower Phyllis McKelvey, who collected more than 180,000 petition signatures raising serious safety concerns about the USDA's proposed poultry inspection model.

GAP's Tour is a dynamic campaign aimed at educating the public – particularly university students – about the phenomenon and practice of whistleblowing. This event, like all stops, features a moderated discussion with a prominent whistleblower. This presentation runs from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m., with a continental breakfast and introductory remarks preceding the discussion.

A Continuing Legal Education (CLE) initiative follows the Tour stop, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The CLE features a presentation by GAP staff on navigating the new food safety whistleblower provision contained in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. A full description/timeline of this stop can be found here, and a description of the Tour can be found at www.WhistleblowerTour.org. The program will take place at the AU Washington College of Law, Room 603. The Tour stop is sponsored by GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign, along with the American University Washington College of Law.

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Whistleblower Suppressing Ag Gag Bills Becoming a National Issue

pig_isaacDespite states serving as the battleground for various controversial bills that silence agriculture whistleblowers, Ag Gag legislation is not simply a state issue. Introduced in at least nine states and expected in several more, the bills not only threaten the integrity of food that is often transported across state lines, but they also threaten the public's right-to-know about how their food is processed. Recently, National Public Radio's "On the Media" discussed the potential impact of the legislation on undercover reporting (which resulted in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle) and investigative journalism. FIC has been fighting these bills since early 2011 due to their harm to whistleblowers, whose ability to safely expose wrongdoing is severely jeopardized under Ag Gag.

While the facilities targeted in these bills are animal-housing slaughterhouses, animal welfare advocates are not the only ones drastically impacted. Nearly 50 organizations have come out against Ag Gag, and most of them aren't animal welfare groups. Opponents include civil liberties, public health, food safety, food justice, environmental, legal, workers' rights, journalism and First Amendment organizations across the country. Keeping would-be whistleblowers from speaking up is clearly striking a nerve.

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