''Several hundred farmers, regulators and consumers from Alaska to North Dakota to California gathered in Portland on Wednesday to listen to federal plans to overhaul the food safety system.
One of them was Rylee Gustafson, a 15-year-old from Las Vegas who testified at the meeting. In 2006, she became severely ill after eating bagged, triple-washed spinach tainted with a potentially fatal form of E. coli.
She suffered kidney failure and was hospitalized for 36 days.
'I thought I was going to die,' she said in a whisper of a voice.
Even today, she faces lingering health problems as a Type 1 diabetic. But she's quick to flash a smile and is passionate about food safety, traveling to Washington D.C. and Portland to push for tighter food safety rules.
'I do not want anyone else to go through what I did,' she said.''