KAZU Local
6:04 am
Thu October 5, 2006

FBI searches Natural Selection, Growers Express

Salinas, CA – The FBI has executed search warrants and seized boxes of documents and emails from two produce packaging companies in the Salinas Valley. Natural Selection Foods is at the center of a recent e coli outbreak linked to spinach. The Monterey Herald is reporting this morning the other company, Growers Express, is in part owned by Mission Ranch. That company also owns a third of Natural Selection Foods, suggesting Mission Ranches could be the link tying the investigation together. Yesterday a spokeswoman for earthbound farms told KAZU there wasn't a connection between Growers Express and Natural Selection foods other than they co-sponsor an annual industry party. An FBI spokesman says it does not look like eco-terrorism is responsible. But the latest developments are raising new doubts about whether the Salinas Valley agricultural industry can keep leafy greens safe. KAZU's John Sepulvado reports.