As reported at Food Safety News, on Feb. 23, Publisher Bill Marler and Food Safety News were honored by the New Jersey Association of Justice (NJAJ) with its Gold Medal for Distinguished Journalism.
But, before we get into the award, that was accepted by Jonan Pilet, who with Joe Whitworth, Coral Beach, Dan Flynn and Cookson Beecher make-up the current staff (along with Chuck Jolly selling ads). However, since its founding in 2009, we have also had a number of stellar writers – not in any particular order: Mary Rothchild, Ross Anderson, Andy Schneider, Gretchen Goetz, Helena Bottemiller, James Andrews, Suzanne Schreck and others. I thank them all for their professionalism.
Food Safety News was founded during the run-up to the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act when major media was not fully covering the story. Some say Food Safety News has become the “go-to” place for all news food safety. Food Safety News is funded for the most part by Marler Clark with some advertising revenue. Despite being funded by Marler Clark, I think the readership sees the coverage as even-handed. I thank the staff for that.
Well, back to the story on the award.
The New Jersey Association for Justice is an exclusive statewide association dedicated to trial lawyers. They have more than 2,700 members in private practice and public service, paralegals, law clerks, law students and law school graduates.
The award was presented by NJAJ President James Lynch, who said, “The Gold Medal for Distinguished Journalism is being presented to Bill Marler in recognition of his ongoing work to inform Americans about food safety issues both as an attorney representing clients stricken with foodborne illness and as publisher of Food Safety News, which provides outstanding, award-winning coverage of topics ranging from policy and politics to foodborne illness outbreaks to sustainability, science, and research.
“Food Safety News shines a needed light on the issue of vital importance to American consumers.
“The members of the New Jersey Association thank you for bringing these issues to the attention of the general public.”
About Bill Marler from NJAJ
Bill Marler is an accomplished attorney and national expert in food safety. He has become the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world. Over the last 30 years, Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life-altering injury and even death.
Marler began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak.
For the last 30 years, Marler has represented victims of every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States and has consulted on cases in Europe, Asia and Africa. He has filed lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, Chili’s, Chi-Chi’s. Chipotle, ConAgra, Dole, Excel, Golden Corral, KFC, McDonald’s, Odwalla, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Sizzler, Supervalu, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.
In 2010, Marler was awarded the NSF Food Safety Leadership Award for Education and in 2008 earned the Outstanding Lawyer Award by the King County Bar Association. He also received the Public Justice Award from the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association in 2008.
Bill Marler could not attend the event, so Food Safety News’ Staff Writer Jonan Pilet attended the Awards dinner and accepted the award for him.
Staff Writer Jonan Pilet’s acceptance speech on behalf of Bill Marler and Food Safety News:
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of Bill Marler and the entire team at Food Safety News. I want to thank the New Jersey Association for Justice for their recognition of our work, and for the tireless efforts of everyone at Food Safety News— Dan Flynn, Coral Beach, Joe Whitworth, Chuck Jolley and Cookson Beecher. I am honored to call them colleagues.
As a journalist with Food Safety News, I know that this award represents the culmination of countless hours of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to the highest journalistic standards. At Food Safety News we cover the critical issues of food safety — including outbreaks, recalls, victim stories, government regulations, research, and so much more. We aim to provide our readers with accurate, trustworthy information that can help them make informed decisions.
Bill Marler has been a relentless advocate for food safety for decades, and his work has been instrumental in improving the safety of the food we eat here in the U.S. and around the world. He is a mentor and a source of inspiration to all of us at Food Safety News, and we are proud to work alongside him.
Most importantly, I want to recognize the people who have shared their stories with us and the reason we do what we do — the victims of foodborne illness, and their families. Their bravery and resilience, and willingness to speak out are what drive us to continue our work. We hope that this award will shine more light on their situation and inspire continued change to make the food we eat safer for everyone.
Finally, let me say that this award is not just a recognition of our work, but a reminder of the critical importance of the work that we do. Food safety is a fundamental issue that affects us all, and we must remain vigilant in our reporting, our research, and our advocacy.
Once again, thank you for this incredible honor. Bill Marler, the Food Safety News team, and I are truly grateful.”