Onion Growers Relieved by Updated Water Rule Proposal
ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Onion growers in eastern Oregon say they're relieved by revisions to water quality rules under consideration by the federal government.
The Food and Drug Administration is working on the rules to guard against bacterial infection, such as from E. coli. Farmers said their irrigation water is reused from field to field and isn't likely to meet the standards. Onion farmers tell the agricultural publication Capital Press the revised proposal would allow them to show that there's enough time between the last irrigation and harvest for the bacteria to die off.
Oregon State University researchers say they're working on that question now. But one prominent onion grower says customers might be more demanding than the government and some have asked for verification that the irrigation water meets the standards.