Protecting Food. Empowering Whistleblowers.

Food Integrity Campaign Blog

FIC Celebrates 10 years

Food Integrity Campaign | January 22, 2019

Starting on November 12, 2019, FIC and American University Washington College of Law host a week of events in Washington, DC to celebrate a decade of representing truth in our food system. Events include a screening of the documentary film, Eating Animals, followed by a panel discussion with advocates and whistleblowers featured in the movie; a VIP event to present the first annual Dean Wyatt Award for truth-telling; and an all-day conference with influential panelists and speakers convening to discuss intersectional oppression and opportunity within our food system.  

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FIC Launches Satirical Game, “Bacon Defender”

Food Integrity Campaign | October 27, 2018

FIC launched “Bacon Defender,” a satirical online game that exposes the dangers of Trump’s dangerous high-speed pork inspection rule. This innovative advocacy tool led game players to submit public comments opposing the rule to the USDA. 

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FIC Tackles its First Contract Poultry Grower Case

Food Integrity Campaign | February 7, 2015

FIC filed an historic lawsuit against poultry company Perdue on behalf of contract poultry grower Craig Watts, marking the beginning of FIC’s campaign to improve conditions for contract growers. Watts faced retaliation from his contractor, Perdue, after he invited an animal welfare organization to document conditions on his farm. He wanted the public to know that the growing practices Perdue required of him contradicted the “humanely raised” label Perdue placed on its labels.  FIC also represents Eric Hedrick in federal court against Pilgrim’s Pride, which retaliated against Hedrick after he…

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Professor Exposes Animal Abuse at USDA Facility

Food Integrity Campaign | January 7, 2015

FIC met whistleblower Dr. James Keen after his allegations of animal abuse at a USDA research facility blazed across headlines in The New York Times. As a veterinarian and professor, Dr. Keen researched ways to improve the productivity of farm animals. Dr. Keen became increasingly concerned over incidences of animal neglect, and, after unsuccessfully attempting to initiate reforms from within, he reached out to the media. Dr. Keen’s disclosures prompted both consumer outrage and government investigations into the research facilities practices. FIC works with Dr. Keen to help leverage his…

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Hanalei Valley, Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai Residents Seek FIC Help Over Pesticides

Food Integrity Campaign | February 7, 2013

Kauai, Hawaii’s year-round growing season makes it an ideal place for biotech and pesticide companies to test new seeds and chemicals, such that some fields in Kauai rank among the most intensively sprayed agricultural land in the U.S. Pesticides drift from those fields, sickening residents and polluting Kauai’s unique ecosystem. Contacted for help by local activists, FIC investigated the close relationships between Hawaii lawmakers and pesticide company lobbyists. Activists successfully advocated for a local law to create buffer zones around homes and schools, among other protections, which continues to face…

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FIC Fights State Anti-Whistleblower Ag Gag Laws

Food Integrity Campaign | February 27, 2012

FIC was an early leader in fighting anti-whistleblower “Ag Gag” bills in state legislatures. Over the course of a few years, 25 state legislatures considered and seven state governments passed bills to criminalize certain whistleblowing activities on factory farms. The livestock, dairy, and poultry industries lobbied heavily for these bills as a way to reduce scrutiny of their practices. Courts have overturned Ag Gag laws in four states. FIC has contributed briefs in opposition to Ag Gag and is a plaintiff in a current case to overturn North Carolina’s Ag…

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Whistleblower Leads Campaign Against Weakened Poultry Inspection

Food Integrity Campaign | January 27, 2012

USDA inspector Phyllis McKelvey exposed the truth behind a proposed high-speed poultry inspection system. After working in a pilot of the inspection program, McKelvey contacted FIC with concerns. She blew the whistle on increased risk of fecal contamination and worker injuries associated with the pilot inspection plan. She became the public face of a multi-organization campaign against the plan. McKelvey authored a petition to USDA that received over 180,000 signatures. McKelvey’s activism prompted seven other poultry inspectors to provide FIC with anonymous legal affidavits that backed her claims.

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FIC Conference Celebrates FSMA Food Whistleblower Protections

Food Integrity Campaign | January 27, 2011

FIC successfully advocated for the gold-standard whistleblower protections found in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA was the most comprehensive food safety reform in a century. After the bill was signed into law, FIC held a conference at George Washington School of Law and invited whistleblowers, advocates, and legal practitioners to consider the impact of the new whistleblower provision.

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“Pink Slime” Makes Prime Time

Food Integrity Campaign | January 1, 2011

An ABC News report featured FIC whistleblower Kit Foshee, whose disclosure about “lean finely textured beef” (often referred to as “pink slime”) captured national attention. The media learned that the product was found in most of America’s hamburgers. Consumers were outraged at this revelation, forcing food companies and the National School Lunch Program to stop using the product.

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Food Integrity Campaign is Born

Food Integrity Campaign | January 22, 2009

In November 2009, Government Accountability Project 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.  

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