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Whistleblower News from the Inside - July 2, 2013

Posted  July 2, 2013

Largest corporations getting off easy on U.S. taxes – According to a study just released by the Government Accountability Office, the biggest, most profitable American companies are using loopholes to enjoy a 12.6 percent tax rate, far below the 35 percent rate they are supposed to pay.  CNN

New federal rules to bar selling junk foods and drinks in schools – The U.S. Agricultural Department, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, just passed rules that, starting in the fall of 2014, will ban in school cafeterias, snack bars and vending machines the sale of candy, cookies and sugary drinks.  NYT

House unanimously passes bill to extend whistleblower protections to sexual assault victims in military – The law would require the Inspector General to investigate allegations of retaliation against service members reporting acts of sexual violence. Walorski

Whistleblowers protections extended to military contractors –As part of the 2013 Defense Authorization Act, whistleblowers working for Defense Department contractors and subcontractors will now be covered by the same type of anti-retaliation protections afforded most federal workers.  Federal Times

Obama launches initiative to combat wildlife trafficking – With his newly established Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, President Obama hopes to put a dent in the estimated $10 billion of annual sales relating to illegal hunting of elephants, rhinos, sharks and other species.  Washington Post

FDA flexes new muscle over tobacco companies – With its new authority to regulate tobacco products, the FDA just came down with its first slate of decisions, approving two new products and rejecting four which it believed raised questions of public health and safety.  LA Times