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December 5, 2000

2 Min Read
Aventis Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over StarLink

WASHINGTON--On Dec. 1, six law firms filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. farmers against Aventis CropScience USA Holding Inc., alleging the company failed to take proper precautions to prevent StarLink corn from entering the food supply. The suit, which was filed on behalf of all U.S. farmers who had not used StarLink seed, alleges that Aventis was negligent in following the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) registration guidelines for StarLink corn and failed to take proper precautions to prevent the genetically modified corn from entering the human food supply. The suit also claims that as a result of these acts, the U.S. corn crops have been widely contaminated by StarLink, which has resulted in a loss of export and domestic markets for U.S. corn and a depression in U.S. corn prices.

According to Richard S. Lewis, a partner at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll PLLC, non-StarLink corn farmers have suffered monetarily from this contamination and are now asking for accountability. "Non-StarLink farmers all over the country are reporting difficulties in selling their crops due to fear of StarLink contamination," he stated. "The lawsuit...seeks to hold Aventis responsible for the harm it has caused to non-StarLink farmers as a result."

Compensatory and punitive damages of an undisclosed amount are being sought, as well as injunctive relief requiring Aventis to decontaminate all soil, farming equipment, storage equipment, harvest equipment, transportation facilities, grain elevators and non-StarLink seed supplies to prevent further contamination.

Rhonda Barnett, an Aventis CropScience spokesperson, declined to comment on the pending litigation. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois by Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll PLLC, Washington; Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, New York and San Francisco; Pomerantz, Haudek, Block, Grossman & Gross, New York; Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, Philadelphia; Winter, Brewster, Crosby & Schaefer, Marion, Ill. and Ronald Osman & Associates, Marion, Ill. For more information, visit www.cmht.com or www.thecampaign.org.

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