Calif. firms recall green onions

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) -- Two California produce shippers have recalled thousands of cases of green onions over fears they could be contaminated with salmonella.

U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors found salmonella in a routine test of green onions taken in New York last month.

Officials notified the shipper, Salinas-based Steinbeck Country Produce, and on Aug. 28, the company issued a voluntary recall for 3,360 cartons of iceless green onions.

A Steinbeck spokesman says the company bought the onions from Circle Produce, a Calexico-based company supplied by an onion farm in Mexicali, Mexico.

Castroville-based shipper Ocean Mist Farms recalled 1,746 cases of its green onions as well, after realizing they came from the same lot. No illnesses have been reported.

Obama 'green' adviser quits

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- President Barack Obama's adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said Sunday, Sept. 6.

Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly "green jobs" with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

The resignation comes as Obama is working to regain his footing in the contentious health care debate.

The matter surfaced after news reports of a derogatory comment Jones made in the past about Republicans, and separately, of Jones' name appearing on a petition connected to the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. That 2004 petition had asked for congressional hearings and other investigations into whether high-level government officials had allowed the attacks to occur.

Economist says recession over

OLYMPIA (AP) -- Washington's chief economist says the recession appears to be over in the state and the nation.

But he warns that the economic recovery is still very fragile.

State economist Arun Raha says countries in East Asia and Western Europe are showing surprising economic strength. That helps the outlook for exports, and Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the nation.

But Raha also cautions that commercial real estate has hit a wall, and that could spell trouble for local and regional banks.

Consumer spending also hasn't recovered yet. State budget director Victor Moore says consumers likely need to see the job market improve before confidence bounces back.

Woman sues spinach suppliers

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) -- An 85-year-old woman who fell sick after eating E. coli-tainted spinach during a massive nationwide outbreak three years ago is suing California growers and shippers.

Jane Majeska of Fond du Lac, Wis., was hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome and depended on a feeding tube and ventilator for survival after eating Dole spinach in August 2006.

The outbreak killed three people, sickened 200 and cost the industry $80 million in lost sales.

Her lawsuit filed Thursday, Sept. 3, seeks unspecified damages from Dole, Natural Selection Foods, Mission Organics and Pick 'n Save for her pain and suffering.

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