immediate release -- January 23, 2001.
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699
Aventis Signs Formal Agreement to Mitigate
Losses from StarLink Corn
contract details measures to compensate growers and elevators.
Iowa Attorney General
Tom Miller said Tuesday that Aventis CropScience -- the maker of StarLink
genetically modified corn that has entered the grain and food chains --
has signed a binding contractual agreement with seventeen State Attorneys
General acting on behalf of growers and grain elevators who may suffer
losses as a result of StarLink corn.
"I am very pleased
we reached this formal agreement," Miller said. "Aventis has
affirmed the assurances and claim procedures it posted at the company
web site recently for growers and elevators, and the company specifically
assured the States that it has access to assets necessary to satisfy its
obligations under the agreement." The Aventis web site is www.StarLinkCorn.com.
"Now we have
an agreement that can be enforced by the States," Miller said. "Aventis
expressly agreed that it is obligated to compensate growers and elevators
for loss in value resulting from StarLink corn, buffer corn and commingled
corn. That means the States have clear standing to go to court if Aventis
fails to live up to its obligations," he said.
The detailed documents
attached to the agreement include terms and claim procedures for StarLink
growers and buffer growers, for growers with losses related to non-StarLink
corn containing StarLink Cry9C protein or DNA, and for elevators with
losses related to StarLink corn.
Among the main terms
are that Aventis will pay 25 cents per bushel to StarLink growers and
buffer growers to control corn grown from StarLink hybrids and corn grown
within 660 feet of corn grown with StarLink hybrids and move such corn
to approved sites and uses through Aventis's "StarLink Enhanced Stewardship"
program, or SES. Growers and elevators also are eligible for Aventis payments
for documented StarLink costs or losses such as transportation, storage,
testing, demurrage (extra costs resulting from handling StarLink), and
loss of value. February 15, 2001, is the deadline for farmers to opt to
participate in the SES program, and the grain must be marketed or fed
by Sept. 15. Miller encouraged farmers and elevators to see details at
Aventis's web site or in materials provided by the company.
The "Cry9C Growers"
are those whose corn tests positive for Cry9C protein or DNA even though
they did not grow corn from StarLink hybrids and did not grow corn within
660 feet of corn grown from StarLink hybrids. On January 12 Aventis posted
terms and claim procedures for Cry9C Growers at its web site, www.StarLinkCorn.com.
Cry9C corn also is eligible for payments of 25 cents per bushel if handled
through Aventis's SES program, and payments for other costs or losses
also are eligible if documented.
commingled with StarLink, buffer or Cry9C corn also is eligible for 5-cent
per bushel payment if fed to livestock, 10 cents if marketed to approved
locations. Other documented costs or losses also are eligible for payment.
we have made great progress, but there's a long way to go in this situation,
especially in the crucial time this spring when grain really starts moving
through the system," Miller said. "We also agreed with Aventis
to continue negotiations on more details of implementing the agreement,
and our discussions will continue as other StarLink corn issues arise."
Miller and the Farm
Division of his office have led states in negotiating with Aventis since
the StarLink situation emerged in October, pressing the company to provide
effective terms and claims procedures for farmers and elevators to recoup
losses that may result because of StarLink. Miller has said it was "irresponsible"
for Aventis to market the StarLink seed corn with unrealistic restrictions
- including that there must be at least 660-foot "buffer strips"
between StarLink and other planted corn, and that StarLink grain had to
be kept segregated from other corn. He also has said his office believes
most Iowa growers were not aware of the restrictions in any event.
But Miller also has
complimented Aventis for mobilizing to get the corn out of the grain chain
and to set up procedures and terms to pay producers and elevators whose
grain may lose value because of StarLink corn. "It is my view that
Aventis is working very hard to correct the situation and make it right
for farmers and elevators," he said.
Miller said the States
did not release any potential claims or causes of action as a result of
the agreement, in case other issues arise that are not covered by the
agreement. He also said the agreement does not affect any claims that
have been made or could be made by growers or elevators who choose to
proceed with legal action or claims.
The agreement will
be in force for four years. It was signed late Monday by the States and
Aventis CropScience USA LP, based in Research Triangle Park, NC.
States that signed
the agreement are Iowa, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky,
Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The States encompass
over 90 percent of the acreage planted to StarLink corn last year.
Aventis has said the
goal of its "StarLink Enhanced Stewardship" and StarLink Logistics
plans is to completely segregate StarLink corn from other grain and to
move StarLink corn and commingled corn to approved sites and approved
uses such as animal feed and certain industrial uses.
STARLINK CORN between AVENTIS
CROPSCIENCE USA LP and STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL
1. PARTIES TO AGREEMENT.
The Parties to this agreements are the attorneys general of the states
of Iowa, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,
South Dakota, and Wisconsin (hereinafter "the States") and Aventis
CropScience USA LP (hereinafter "Aventis").
2. PURPOSE OF AGREEMENT.
The States, on behalf of their respective states and on behalf of growers
and grain elevators located in their respective states, and Aventis hereby
enter into this binding contractual Agreement and hereby agree to the
following measures in an effort to mitigate the economic losses suffered
by growers and grain elevators located in their states resulting from
Aventis' decision to license Cry9C technology in the United States.
The States and Aventis hereby expressly agree that adequate consideration
has been offered and received by the Parties to this Agreement.
4. MITIGATION MEASURES.
The mitigation measures covered by this Agreement are described in this
a. The following documents,
which are attached as exhibits, are incorporated in this Agreement by
this reference [EDITORS'S NOTE: find these exhibits at Aventis web site:
www.StarLinkCorn.com, or they will be provided by Aventis upon request.]
CropScience - StarLink Growers and Buffer Grower Claims Procedure For
Losses Related to StarLink Corn." See Exhibit A.
CropScience - Claims Procedure For Growers With Losses Related to Non-StarLink
Corn Containing Cry9C." See Exhibit B.
CropScience - Elevators Claims Procedure for Losses Related to StarLink
Corn." See Exhibit C.
b. Aventis agrees
to amend the elevator claims payment procedure contained in Exhibit C
to conform with the following:
(1) Payment. If an
elevator presents a fully documented claim to Aventis under the claims
payment procedure outlined in Exhibit C, then Aventis shall make payment
within thirty (30) days of receipt of the claim. Any payment made after
thirty (30) days shall be subject to a late payment fee of 1.5% per month
compounded on a daily basis.
(2) Verification of
Inventory. If Aventis chooses to verify the quantity of inventory held
by an elevator and/or the StarLink status (i.e. presence of Cry9C protein
or Cry9C DNA) of such inventory, then Aventis shall -
(a) use measurement
standards approved by the USDA,
(b) use testing standards
and sampling protocols approved the the USDA,
(c) pay all costs,
including loss of inventory value, associated with such verification,
(d) if (based on the
results of Aventis' sampling and testing) Aventis asserts that a given
lot of corn does not contain StarLink (Cry9C protein or Cry9C DNA), then
Aventis shall be responsible for any economic loss sustained by the elevator
attributable to a subsequent detection of StarLink (Cry9C protein or Cry9C
DNA) in that lot of corn.
(3) Excess Transportation.
The term "excess transportation" shall mean incremental transportation
costs incurred by an elevator as a result of the detection of StarLink
(Cry9C protein or Cry9C DNA) in a lot of corn or as a result of the inability
of an elevator to certify to a buyer that a lot of corn does not contain
StarLink (Cry9C protein or Cry9C DNA). Excess transportation incurred
by an elevator will be paid by Aventis at the higher of the actual costs
incurred by the elevator or a rate agreed upon by Aventis and the elevator.
c. Aventis' obligations
set out in Exhibits A, B, and C and in subsection (b) are obligations
pursuant to this Agreement and are enforceable by the States. Aventis'
obligations pursuant to Exhibits A, B, and C and subsection (b) include
an express obligation to compensate the following entities for loss in
value (net any logistics fees received) on StarLink, buffer, and commingled
(1) StarLink Growers
and Buffer Growers;
(2) Growers of non-StarLink
corn containing Cry9C Protein or Cry9C DNA; and
(3) Grain Elevators.
5. AVENTIS TO MAIL
COPIES OF EXHIBITS TO GROWERS AND ELEVATORS AND MAKE COPIES OF AGREEMENT
AVAILABLE. Aventis shall mail a copy of the relevant exhibit to every
grower and elevator that Aventis has identified as having StarLink, buffer
or commingled corn. In addition, Aventis shall mail a copy of the relevant
exhibit to any new grower or elevator that Aventis identifies as having
StarLink, buffer or commingled corn within three business days of Aventis'
receipt of said identification. With respect to elevators, Aventis shall
send Exhibit C as amended in accordance with section 4(b). Aventis shall
post a copy of this Agreement on its website (www.starlinkcorn.com) and
shall make copies of the Agreement available to grower and elevators upon
6. NO RELEASE OF CLAIMS
BY STATES. The States are not releasing any public or private claims or
causes of action as a result of entering into this Agreement. In addition,
this Agreement shall not be construed to in any way to affect any claims
or causes of action that are now, or may in the future be, held by growers
7. ASSURANCE OF PAYMENT
BY AVENTIS. Aventis has assured the States that it has access to assets
necessary to satisfy its obligations pursuant to Exhibits A, B, and C
and pursuant to this Agreement. The Parties have agreed that negotiations
will continue concerning the details of how this assurance will be implemented.
8. ADDITIONAL ISSUES
AND IMPLEMENTATION. Aventis and the States expressly agree to continue
discussing additional issues concerning StarLink corn as they arise.
9. TERM OF AGREEMENT.
This Agreement shall be in effect for four (4) years from the date it
is executed by the Parties.
Thomas J. Miller
Attorney General of Iowa on behalf of the State of Iowa and the following
BILL PRYOR, Attorney
General of Alabama
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JIM RYAN, Attorney
General of Illinois
STEPHEN CARTER, Attorney
General of Indiana
Attorney General of Kansas
ALBERT B. CHANDLER
III, Attorney General of Kentucky
G. STEVEN ROWE,
Attorney General of Maine
J. JOSEPH CURRAN,
JR., Attorney General of Maryland
Attorney General of Minnesota
Attorney General of Mississippi
DONALD B. STENBERG,
Attorney General of Nebraska
MADRID, Attorney General of New Mexico
Attorney General of North Dakota
Attorney General of Ohio
W. A. DREW EDMONDSON,
Attorney General of Oklahoma
Attorney General of South Dakota
JAMES E. DOYLE,
Attorney General of Wisconsin