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Food companies sue over StarLink

(Sept. 24, 2001 – CropChoice news) -- Thousands of Taco Bell restaurants and others filed a class-action lawsuit last week against Aventis CropScience, Garst Seed Co, corn flour and tortilla distributor Gruma Corp., and Azteca Milling LP on grounds that they and other defendants, according to the Associated Press, "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 plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars in compensation and punitive damages in the lawsuit they filed in the Washington County Circuit Court in Arkansas.

Aventis CropScience engineered corn to express the natural insecticidal bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Due to scientific concerns that the Bt corn variety might be allergenic to humans, the U.S. government restricted its use to livestock feed and industrial purposes. Nonetheless, StarLink found its way into hundreds of food products, leading to food recalls and disruption in trade with countries, particularly Japan, that had not permitted StarLink for any use.

Source: Associated Press