SALEM, Ore. -- Onion growers in the Northwest are pleased that federal regulators have announced they'll rework proposed water quality rules.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working on the food safety rules to prevent contamination from the likes of salmonella and E. coli bacteria.
Onion growers have protested against the rules, especially one calling for weekly testing of irrigation water. They say few farmers using ditch irrigation would meet the standards, and the standards wouldn't add much to food safety. Farmers fear losing crops if irrigation is shut down during the growing season.
The agricultural publication Capital Press reports an FDA deputy commissioner, Michael Taylor, announced last week that the next draft of the rules will have significant changes. That's expected in the summer.