In the wake of E. coli 0157:H7 outbreaks associated with spinach and other produce in 2006, Congress and California state legislators are looking for new strategies to assure the public that government is working hard to reduce future food-borne outbreaks.

Will the proposed legislation and additional oversight make a difference?

The answer is, unfortunately, probably not.

The well-intended legislation will probably fall short of anything meaningful, as its patrons fail to understand the basic evolutionary rules of the germ warfare raging in the American gut and the bigger challenges facing the populace in this biological arms race.

The produce industry need only look out to the fields beyond their office windows to see a better solution to what ails them and the public.