Today's NewsThe13th Annual Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture for Outstanding EHS Investigative Reporting at AIHce was entitled, “Breaking the Silence: The Importance of Public Records for Worker Safety at Sensient Flavors,” presented by Tony Cook, an Indianapolis Star reporter who covered the investigation of the Sensient plant where federal health officials found a third of the plant’s roughly 100 production workers had experienced abnormally restrictive lung function.

In his presentation, Cook discussed the road blocks he faced in his reporting and the essential role that NIOSH, the Indiana OSHA, and federal and state court public records played.

“I began chasing down a long, long paper trail,” said Cook.

When Cook reached out to companies that were customers of Sensient, both Starbucks and the Campbell Soup Company responded with workplace safety investigations of the plant.

According to Cook, Sensient has promised $4 million in safety upgrades since his article was published.

“The story was well-received when it came out,” he added.