Government Accountability Office Report Calls for Improved Worker Conditions in Response to Horrific Mistreatment
WASHINGTON – Today, the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign (FIC) commends a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing recommendations to improve worker conditions in meat processing plants. This report, compiled in response to safety inspections and interviews conducted by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), details numerous abuses and workplace hazards food employees face, and notes a culture of suppression and retaliation of employees who call attention to these hazards. GAP’s longstanding support for individuals who have brought to light instances of public health concerns and workplace abuse directly aligns with these findings. Amanda Hitt, Director of GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign, stated:
This timely report substantiates so much of what our whistleblowers have been telling us. With increased line speeds, reduced inspection, and increased privatization, vigilant consumers should listen to those within the industry who see the problems firsthand.
Federal meat inspectors and plant workers have been disclosing horrific accounts of mistreatment to GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign for years. Specifically, they have levied concerns about dangerous exposures to the antimicrobial chemical, paracetic acid (PAA). We hope this report sparks greater public inquiry into the secretive world of animal agriculture and its inhumane treatment of workers.
GAP and its Food Integrity Campaign stand with workers by protecting individuals who face retaliation for disclosing abuses. Disclosures from food employees have exposed dangerous chemical processes, revealed unsafe practices that threatened worker safety, and even saved lives. We applaud the precedent and findings of this report and reiterate that we all must aim to create an environment where employees who draw attention to violations are lauded, not lambasted. GAP will continue to hold violators accountable, fight for employees, and protect all those who speak truth to power.
Read more affidavits from food employees here.
Contact: Amanda Hitt, Director, Food Integrity Campaign
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 159
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.