Protecting Food. Empowering Whistleblowers.

FIC in the News

PBS Food: Dirty Birds – A Story of Chickens in America

March 5, 2015

FIC client Craig Watts shares his story as a Perdue contract farmer and whistleblower in this segment of PBS Food’s “Original Fare.”

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Mother Jones: USDA Whistleblowers Tell All–and You May Never Eat Bacon Again

February 27, 2015

By TOM PHILPOTT In 2004, Elsa Murano stepped down from her post as chief of the US Department of Agriculture division that oversees food safety at the nation’s slaughterhouses. Two years later, she joined the board of directors of pork giant Hormel, a company that runs some of the nation’s largest slaughterhouses. Murano received $238,000 in compensation […]

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Fusion: Cock Fight – Meet the Farmer Blowing the Whistle on Big Chicken

February 25, 2015

Craig Watts is about as farmer as they come. He chews tobacco, he’s gruff, he wears overalls, and he loves Willie Nelson. He’s not what you think of when you think of whistleblowers like Deep Throat or Edward Snowden. But six months ago he embarked on a journey to expose what he calls hidden injustices […]

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Salon: Chicken farmer who spoke out against factory farm abuses files for federal whistleblower protection

February 19, 2015

By LINDSAY ABRAMS The chicken farmer who took the brave and unusual step of speaking out against poultry giant Perdue Farms is filing for federal whistleblower protection for the retaliation he says he experienced for coming forward. Craig Watts, of North Carolina, had been raising chickens for Perdue, the country’s third-largest poultry producer, since 1992. […]

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WIRED: A Factory Farmer Strikes Back at the Company He Farms For

February 19, 2015

By MARYN MCKENNA Back in December I wrote about a chicken farmer who took the extraordinary step of inviting animal-welfare activists into his barns to document the conditions under which his contract compels him to raise his birds. The farmer, Craig Watts of North Carolina, has raised chicken for Perdue Farms for two decades and […]

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Heritage Radio: What Doesn’t Kill You – Hormel Goes HIMP

February 12, 2015

FIC Director Amanda Hitt speaks with Katy Keiffer on this episode of What Doesn’t Kill You about why Hormel’s participation in USDA’s high-speed hog inspection program is a “recipe for disaster.” Listen to the episode (46 minutes) here.

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Austin Daily Herald: Hormel called out over high-speed production; Meat inspectors say process more likely to cause contamination

February 11, 2015

By TREY MEWES Meat inspectors are speaking out against a high-speed pork production program used by several Hormel Foods Corp. factories. The Government Accountability Project released four affidavits from working and recently retired meat inspectors on Monday, all of whom denounced a Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points project for increasing the contamination in meat […]

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KAAL-TV: USDA Whistleblowers Raise Concerns Over Pork Plant Inspections

February 9, 2015

KAAL-TV, the ABC affiliate in Austin, Minnesota (where Hormel is headquartered) covered this television news story about USDA whistleblowers at Hormel pork plants raising concerns about high-speed hog inspection. The print version of the story is below. By DAN CONRADT A USDA pilot project is drawing criticism, and that criticism is being felt close to […]

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Daily Mail: Toenails, hair and fecal matter are finding their way into America’s pork according to USDA whistleblowers

February 5, 2015

by CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN Toenails, hair and fecal matter are finding their way into Americans’ pork under new, faster slaughterhouse regulations. Whistleblowers from inside the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have spoken out against a recent pilot program, saying they let harmful materials be passed on to consumers. They claim that fewer inspectors and higher […]

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New Republic: Whistleblower USDA Food Inspectors on Hormel’s Pork Plants: It’s “Just Nuts”

February 5, 2015

by TED GENOWAYS Four U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat inspectors, all working in slaughter operations owned or operated by the Hormel Foods Corporation, have come forward this week with shocking allegations in affidavits offered to the whistleblower protection organization Government Accountability Project (GAP). A government-run pilot program experimenting with a reduced inspection protocol in […]

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