Past Examples Where the WPEA Could Have Made a Difference
Former USDA public health veterinarian and GAP client, the late Dr. Dean Wyatt, would have benefited greatly from these enhanced protections had he access to them years ago when he continually tried to blow the whistle on slaughterhouse animal abuse. Instead of listening to Dr. Wyatt, USDA supervisors transferred him to another slaughterhouse across the country and imposed other forms of retaliation as attempts to silence his concerns. Wyatt was only vindicated when an outside group took undercover video of wrongdoing that he alleged.
With better safeguards against intimidation, former FDA Public Health Service officer Renee Dufault may not have felt obligated to leave her post after trying to reveal her findings of mercury in foods containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Hitt concluded by referencing the next steps in advocating for food worker rights, stating: "We're not done yet – these protections only cover federal food employees. The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act protects corporate workers exposing problems with FDA-regulated products. However, USDA-regulated product industry workers still lack protections. These workers – who monitor our beef, poultry, pork and egg products – still cannot safely speak up for the public welfare."