TSN-supported whistleblower, Joshua Farinella, needs to be listened to and protected

On March 20, 2024, The Outlaw Ocean Project published an investigative report about food safety, human rights and labor abuses at Choice Canning Company’s shrimp processing factory in Amalapuram, India.

The report was based on the well-documented disclosures of a brave U.S. whistleblower, Joshua Farinella, who worked until recently as the factory’s general manager.

The Signals Network (TSN) represents Farinella and has assisted him to file formal whistleblower reports with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Customs and Border Protection; and various U.S. federal agencies and members of Congress.

TSN provides holistic and individualized support to whistleblowers who disclose public interest information. Due to the patchwork of current whistleblower protection laws, whistleblowers are at significant risk of retaliation, estrangement, or alienation for speaking out for the public good.

Jennifer Gibson, TSN’s Legal Director, said: “Whistleblowers like Joshua deserve to be fully protected for courageously disclosing what they have witnessed. We all benefit when they speak out. In a world of widespread corporate wrongdoing and disinformation, whistleblowers are our greatest sources of reliable information.”

Farinella’s disclosures about Choice Canning’s potential use of forced labor and its repeated sale of antibiotics-tainted shrimp on the U.S. market need to be urgently investigated by relevant authorities.

TSN welcomes the prompt support expressed by Congressman Jared Huffman and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, as well as the request from the House Committee on Natural Resources to access Joshua’s evidence of potential U.S. law violations. The Outlaw Ocean Project’s report comes at the same time as reports by the Associated Press and Corporate Accountability Lab showing human rights and environmental abuses in the Indian shrimp industry are widespread.

“The actions of U.S.-based importers and seafood companies disproportionately affect the health and safety of all seafood products and the likelihood that seafood is not produced with forced labor or through illegal, unregulated, or unreported fishing practices,” reads the committee’s request, which is signed by ranking members Huffman, Raúl M. Grijalva and Melanie Stansbury.

Government action on Joshua’s whistleblowing and the diligent work of investigative reporters is key to assuring the American public their seafood is safe, clean, and ethically produced.

About TSN

TSN is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting whistleblowers who risk their livelihoods to share public interest information with the press. Founded in 2017 by journalists, whistleblowers and lawyers, TSN operates internationally to hold powerful interests accountable. TSN provides customized support to a selected group of whistleblowers who have contributed to published reports of significant wrongdoing. This support may include legal, psychological, physical safety, temporary safe-housing, online safety, career support and communication support.

For journalist inquiries, email sarah@thesignalsnetwork.org.

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