January 31, 2007 -- WALL STREET JOURNAL
White House Order Tightens Grip On Policy
[federal regulations], Stirs Debate on Control

February 1, 2007 -- California Progress Report
Package of Major Food Safety Bills Introduced by
California State Senator Dean Florez

February 1, 2007 -- L.A Times
Food safety makes list of flawed federal programs

February 1, 2007--  LA Times
Bills would target unsafe farming of leafy greens
California -- Senator Florez Press Release

Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 4:23 PM

For Immediate Release                                                        Jennifer Hanson

January 31, 2007                                                                   916-651-4016

Senator offers reforms to ensure safety of leafy greens

E. coli vulnerabilities in food supply addressed in an effort to restore
consumer confidence

SACRAMENTO - In response to a series of deadly outbreaks of food-borne
illness nationwide which were linked to California-grown leafy greens, and in an
effort to reassure consumers that California will pull out all the stops when it
comes to ensuring the safety of our food supply, Senator Dean Florez, D-
Shafter, will introduce the California Produce Safety Action Plan at a news
conference Thursday morning in Sacramento.

Florez held a hearing of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee in
the wake of September’s E. coli outbreak linked to California spinach,
identifying a number of vulnerabilities to the food supply.  On Thursday he will
introduce three pieces of legislation designed to address those shortcomings,
from water used to irrigate crops to the process for tracing the source of an

“While these outbreaks may have dealt a temporary blow to consumer
confidence, we have an opportunity here to take what we’ve learned from the
experience and create a food safety system that is second to none, just like
California produce,” Florez said.

The first measure in the bill series Florez will introduce gives the Department of
Health Services (DHS) the authority it needs to effectively manage future
outbreaks and best protect the public from threats like E. coli, such as allowing
DHS to recall, quarantine or destroy tainted produce.  Under the measure,
growers of leafy greens would be required to get a license through DHS, just
like processors already do.  During the licensing process, growers would have
to identify for DHS any risk factors at their growing locations, such as proximity
to wildlife which could track E. coli into crop fields.  The bill also creates an
inspection program, funded by the licensing fees, which will send inspectors to
farms who will conduct testing of water, soil and produce as they deem

The second bill calls on DHS to establish “good agricultural practices,” or GAP,
which growers of leafy greens must follow, governing everything from water and
fertilizer use to issues of sanitation and flooding.  The bill prohibits the use of
creek water for irrigation or raw manure for fertilizer and requires that water
used for growing leafy greens be tested every two weeks during the growing
season and immediately prior to harvest.  Growers must maintain records of
these practices, which must be reviewed prior to transporting the leafy greens.

The third measure in the series requires DHS to establish the minimum
requirements of a traceback system which will allow the speedy tracking of leafy
greens from farm to processor, to distributor, to retailer.  An expedited
traceback system would allow DHS to quickly trace contaminated greens to their
precise source, preventing a repeat of September when all spinach was
suspect and all growers took the hit because consumers did not immediately
know which produce they could trust.


WHO:             Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter

WHAT:           Introduction of California Produce Safety Action Plan

WHEN:           Thursday, February 1, 2007

                    10:00 a.m.

WHERE:         Governor’s Press Room; State Capitol, Room 1190