Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release - Wednesday, June 11, 2003.

Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699.

Miller: N.Y. Company Agrees to Provide Funds to Refund Iowa Farmers

Attorney General urges Iowans to contact Farm Division for information on refunds.

DES MOINES.Attorney General Tom Miller announced today that $50,000 is available to reimburse Iowans who were misled by representations made in telemarketing sales of farm chemical herbicides by a Long Island NY telemarketing company.

Miller said the Farm Division of his office has collected $50,000 from Central State Supply Ltd. of Lindenhurst NY to be used for restitution to Iowa farmers and others who purchased herbicides from Central State Supply from Sept. 27, 1997, to the present. Central State Supply sold products called "Turf King" and "Triple Threat" herbicides.

Iowans can receive a refund if they make a claim by July 1 including their name, address, telephone number and evidence of purchase (such as an invoice, product label, or other evidence.) Miller encouraged Iowans to contact the Farm Division at 515-281-5351 if they have any questions about the refund process or complaints or information about other pesticide telemarketers.

A lawsuit filed by the Farm Division last year alleged that Central State Supply made misleading and false claims that their products would kill various weeds for several years. The suit alleged that herbicides with similar ingredients do not have effective longevity of several years, as claimed by the defendants. When farmers received chemicals, the products typically were only diluted versions of 2,4-D herbicide and worth far less than what the farmers had to pay, typically about $99 for a gallon. Most buyers purchased the products for spot weed control, as opposed to general application on crop fields.

"Central State Supply claimed their products would exceed the performance of similar products on the market, but our suit alleged they failed to disclose that their herbicides were highly diluted compared to other reputable products," Miller said. "We allege they violated Iowa's Consumer Fraud Act." The company is prohibited from any further solicitations in Iowa.

Miller said the Farm Division already is contacting a couple hundred Iowans with information about the refund -- consumers known to the office from lists provided by Central State Supply or because the Iowans complained to the Attorney General's Office. Those Iowans are slated to receive refunds totaling tens of thousands of dollars and averaging about $250 apiece, Miller said. A few will receive a much higher refund because they bought larger amounts of the Central State product to use on pasture land, for example.

"But we think there still may be others out there entitled to a refund," Miller said. "We urge people to contact the Farm Division for more information if they think they bought Central State products called Turf King or Triple Threat since 1997."

Central State Supply, Ltd., is located at 656 North Wellwood Ave., Suite 305, Lindenhurst, NY 11757, just east of New York City.

"Phony pesticide schemes are a perennial problem," Miller said. "Farmers and other rural residents need to be on the lookout for questionable offers. Our advice is to deal with local dealers and dealers you know are reputable and reliable," he said.

"Tell-tale signs of questionable solicitations include unexpected out-of-state calls, claims that a 'new' product is just as good as name-brand products, claims of extraordinary longevity, unbelievably low prices, high pressure to buy right away, and demand for immediate payment by credit card or cashier's check," he said.

"Be extremely careful of unsolicited calls that offer so-called fantastic bargains. Remember the old maxim that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn't true."

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