Newest CJFE Award highlights need to protect those who speak out in the public interest; three former federal scientists honoured

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
TORONTO, ON (November 16, 2011) – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) honours Dr. Shiv Chopra, Dr. Margaret Haydon and Dr. Gérard Lambert with its new Integrity Award at the 14th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting. The values of the award are reflected in the commitment shown by these Canadian scientists when they informed the Canadian public about specific health dangers inherent in food production in the face of great pressure to remain silent. “This award highlights a critical element in the struggle for free expression,” says Arnold Amber, CJFE president. “It recognizes that those who speak out against wrongdoing in the public or private sectors do so at tremendous risk—both personally and professionally.” The three scientists being presented with the inaugural Integrity Award are regarded as heroes around the world, particularly for raising concerns regarding Monsanto's bovine grown hormone (rBGH), a drug designed to boost the milk production of dairy cattle. These revelations triggered international headlines and resulted in rBGH being banned in Canada and most other developed countries, but also led to the three scientists being reprimanded, ordered to be silent, and eventually dismissed from Health Canada. CJFE will confer its Integrity Award on Canadians who act in the public interest, without thought of personal gain, when they speak out about dangerous, unethical or illegal practices they learned of or experienced in the course of doing their jobs. The award highlights the right of all Canadians to take action in the public interest, and their right to freedom of expression in doing so. This year’s award will be presented at the CJFE Gala on November 24, 2011, held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. This year’s emcee is Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC Radio’s The Current. The CJFE Gala is made possible by the support of returning Evening Sponsor Scotiabank, Reception Sponsor CBC News, Platinum Sponsor CTV News, Exhibition Sponsor Henry's, along with the valued support of other organizations and individuals across the media, legal, academic, and business communities. About CJFE Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) boldly champions the free expression rights of journalists and media workers around the world. In Canada, we monitor, defend and promote free expression and access to information. We encourage and support individuals and groups to be vigilant in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights. We are active participants and builders of the global free expression community. Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CJFEgala. For further information: Susanne Gossage / Karolina Olechnowicz Media Profile 416-504-8464 Susanne.gossage@mediaprofile.com or Karolina.olechnowicz@mediaprofile.com

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