Frank Pecarich, a retired soil scientist, points out that more could have been done before the E. coli outbreak traced to spinach, had scientists been listened to when they pointed out problems with the agricultural systems in the Salinas Valley.

"At first, our analysis clearly spied the flaws in the agriculture infrastructure and system of growing our fresh vegetable food supply,” he posted on the California Progress Report blog. “I have written three articles at this web site on all the gory details of why irrigating fresh leafy green vegetables with treated sewage effluent intended to be consumed raw was a horrible idea. We have also pointed out that the scientific literature is clear on the inability of tertiary treatment of sewage water to completely eradicate E. coli 0157:H7.”

He continues, “As we look deeper to see how this classic example of a bad idea got worse, we find that there are many groups of people who have their ‘finger prints on the bloody knife’, so to speak."