According to the Mercury News, “when the first of the dozen or so federal agents arrived Wednesday about 9:30 a.m. at Growers Express in Salinas, equipped with sidearms and search warrants, some employees initially thought it was some kind of sick joke.”

The Boston Globe reports “by launching a criminal investigation into the role of two produce companies in an outbreak of contaminated spinach, federal investigators are following a script used several times before to hold businesses responsible for mass food poisoning.”

The Globe story offers further explanation, saying “Lawyers involved in previous food poisoning cases said the government probably will try to charge the companies under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, which makes it a crime to sell or distribute “adulterated” products. The act is unusual because allowing tainted foods into interstate commerce could result in criminal charges, even without intent to violate the law, said Eric Greenberg, a law professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.” 

I can imagine that they were a bit surprised by the feds swooping in on them in such an aggressive manner. After all, they themselves were working hard to find the source of the problem, as selling spinach is their business, how they make their money, and it’s pretty obvious that people are not going to want to purchase tainted spinach. It would be one thing if they tried to hide the contamination, but they did not. The first recalls were voluntary. Making this a federal criminal investigation is ridiculous, and I believe that there are numerous other more important tasks that federal investigators could be working on, such as attending to violent crime and perhaps even finding the Constitution and Bill of Rights for our politician, as — judging from recent news — they have clearly misplaced any copies they may have had.

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