What GE can do for your agricultural economy: "a group of national and international corn and biotechnology firms acted together to cause a collapse of the U.S. corn market"
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST CORN PRODUCERS
September 18, 2001
Associated Press [via Agnet]
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A class-action lawsuit filed by thousands of Taco Bell restaurants and others Monday in Washington County Circuit Court alleges, according to this story, that a group of national and international corn and biotechnology firms acted together to cause a collapse of the U.S. corn market, and seeks millions of dollars in compensation and punitive damages.
The story says that the case was brought on behalf of 4,600 Taco Bell restaurant franchises and owners in the United States; four Arkansas-based companies, Tyson Mexican Original Inc., T.B. Barrett Inc., Russ Taco Inc. and Dar-Taco Inc.; and two other companies - McLean Foods in North Carolina and Heartland Bells Inc. in Washington state.
Defendants include Aventis Cropscience USA Holding, a multinational biotechnology company; Garst Seed Co.; Gruma Corp., the largest producer and distributor of corn flour and tortillas in the United States; Azteca Milling LP, another producer of corn masa flour; and other still-to-be-discovered companies.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants developed, marketed and distributed genetically altered StarLink corn and participated in fraudulent, deceptive conduct that led to StarLink's use in hundreds of items that people eat.
The story says that on Sept. 18, 2000, Friends of the Earth announced that a seven-box sample of Taco Bell Home Originals brand taco shells sold in a suburban grocery store contained StarLink corn. For the next two months, various food products thought to contain StarLink were recalled by manufacturers, distributors and retail food sellers.Although Taco Bell promptly replaced all its taco shells with substitute products, "Taco Bell became the 'poster child' for concerns about StarLinkand other genetically altered foods," the suit claims.