Weekly Watchdog 2/9/12

Winning work

The ultimate goal of investigative journalism is impact. We want our reports to change laws, effect policy – and even alter the way people understand issues. At the Center for Public Integrity, we dig deep and swing for the fences.

Our Looting the Seas series on global overfishing has helped lower quotas for Atlantic blue fin tuna, started government investigations in Europe, and called attention to rampant over fishing of the lowly jack mackerel in the Southern Pacific. The oily fish is increasingly being scraped from the world's oceans to feed farmed salmon. Our International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will continue to report on the global debate we've stirred up.

Meanwhile, we were also gratified to see that the Costa Rican government is now studying the causes of a mysterious and chronic kidney disease among Central American sugarcane workers. Our stories on this illness have led the country’s biggest sugar producer to revamp its worker safety and health policies. The epidemic was the subject of our Island of the Widows investigation.

 Until Next Week,

William E. Buzenberg
Executive Director

Bain execs spent nearly $5 million on Romney
Current and former Bain executives and their relatives have given about $4.7 million to organizations dedicated to making Romney the next president of the United States, according to a Center investigation. Some Bain associates have been filling Romney’s campaign coffers since 2004 when the former Massachusetts governor had early aspirations to become president, and long before he officially embarked on a run. We also found that a mysterious corporate donor to an outside spending group supporting Romney’s campaign isn’t a corporation at all, but a former executive of Romney’s old employer, Bain & Co., and his wife.

Landmark diesel exhaust study stalled
A twenty-year investigation of miners exposed to toxic fumes is still unpublished. Industry groups continue to exercise control of the process.

Fishing nations keep plundering in South Pacific
Fishing nations meeting in Santiago, Chile, this week left the way open for fleets to catch jack mackerel far beyond the 390,000-metric ton limit that scientists say is vital to protect the already decimated species. The Center investigated the issue in its Looting the Seas project.

Costa Rica to study kidney ailment of sugarcane workers
The Costa Rican government has launched a study into the causes of chronic kidney disease in its sugarcane producing northern region. The Center shed light on the problem in its story, Island of the Widows.
 

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