The Western Growers Association said there should be no exemptions from uniform steps that growers and handlers should have to follow to certify the safety of lettuce, spinach, endive, kale, cabbage and other greens.

At a congressional hearing in May, Joseph Pezzini, an executive with Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville, Calif., and the chairman overseeing California’s Leafy Green Handlers Marketing Agreement, said industry is best suited to define best practices for handling the covered vegetables.

The Consumers Union’s Odabashian opposed the marketing-agreement plan in comments, saying the Agriculture Department idea isn’t appropriate for addressing safety concerns. She said in an interview that the California agreement, which went into effect in July, didn’t prevent two recent recalls.