The FDA has launched an initiative with support from the Arizona Department of Agriculture, and in conjunction with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District (WMIDD) and members of the Yuma area leafy greens industry to better understand the ecology of human pathogens in the environment in the Yuma agricultural region. This multiyear study will focus on how these pathogens survive, move and possibly contaminate produce prior to harvest. 

The launch follows the largest E.coli O157:H7 outbreak in the U.S. since 2006.

Research teams will be collecting and examining samples from the environment such as surface waters, canal sediment and dust.