Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Farr defends aid for spinach growers

From The Salinas Californian:

Companies implicated in the September E. coli outbreak linked to fresh spinach would not benefit from a proposed $25 million in federal aid to help innocent growers hurt by the scare, U.S. Rep. Sam Farr’s office said Thursday.  Farr came under national criticism this week for the relief funding, winning the title “Porker of the Month” from Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington, D.C., group that has tracked federal spending since 1984.

Bill Marler, the Seattle-based attorney representing 93 people sickened by the spinach E. coli outbreak, said growers shouldn’t get any public funding. “My clients haven’t gotten a … penny, but the spinach people get $25 million. That’s a pretty good deal,” Marler said.

Comments on this story by Salinas readers so “Farr”:

“The democratic leadership proclaimed “a new day” in Washington politics when they took charge in November. I am disappointed in what appears to be “a pork barrel filled with spinach” that is now in Washington, but originated from our own backyard. The spinach gift is being attached to an emergency defense-spending bill. I believe most of the outrage is in the attachment of pork to the main bill, which has nothing to do with agricultural bailouts. However, will the spinach growers also pay 75% of the costs to rebuild our houses, if our homes are destroyed by an unintentional fire in our neighborhoods?”

“As pointed out in yesterday’s article by Ken Dilanian, “Farr , an Appropriations Committee member, received $30,600 in contributions from spinach interests during his last campaign, according to the Center (“Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks spending by those seeking to influence federal policy.”) Voters are tired of “politics as usual.””

That my friend is a hell of a return on your investment in a Congressman – who says politics (or crime) doesn’t pay?

My client, Darryl Howard, was on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 last night.  Darryl’s mom, Betty Howard, died after suffering for months from complications related to her E. coli infection.