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Ark. farmers file 4th lawsuit over genetically engineered rice
LITTLE ROCK - A fourth lawsuit has been filed against Bayer CropScience LP, accusing the company of negligence after an unapproved, genetically engineered rice was found in the United States.

The latest suit was filed by Ephron H. and Doris S. Lewis of Cross County, Floyd and Genotrice Murrow from Phillips County and Ivory Nealy of Lee County. Their suit, filed Thursday in federal court, is the third federal class-action case against Bayer. This week, a group of rice growers filed suit in Lonoke County Circuit Court against Bayer and Stuttgart-based Riceland Foods Inc. on similar claims.

The government announced Aug. 18 that the genetically engineered rice had been found in U.S. rice long-grain rice supplies. After the announcement, the September futures price of rice on the Chicago Board of Trade has dropped from $9.83 per hundredweight to $8.47 per hundredweight, a 14 percent decline.

The lawsuits center on a strain of rice known as LLRICE601, a rice that was tested by Bayer between 1998 and 2001. That strain contains a gene that makes the rice resistant to the herbicide Liberty.

"A manufacturer of a product has a duty to give a reasonable and adequate warning of dangers inherent or reasonably foreseeable in the use of the product," the latest lawsuit said. "A violation of this duty is negligence."

Arkansas' agriculture chief said Wednesday that the discovery of trace amounts of unapproved genetically engineered rice in U.S. long-grain rice supplies poses no threat to either consumers or the environment.

"The only place that we really have a potential problem at the present time is, in fact, in western Europe, in the European Union, which is made up of 25 countries, where genetically engineered foods have been slow to gain acceptance," said agriculture chief Richard Bell.
MGR Archive 3.9.2006
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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