GMO 'Leakage' Proves Costly to Company
Garst Maker Pays Up for Contaminated Seed
(7 July - Cropchoice News) -- Advanta Seeds, which produced and sold the GMO-contaminated 'conventional' canola that caused last month's uproar in Europe, has agreed to a cash compensation package for affected farmers in Britain.
The company, known in the US for its Garst Hybrids brand, will shell out checks to farmers for between $213 - $232 per affected acre, depending on the location of the farm. This payment is in addition to government agriculture subsidies that affected farmes will recieve, despite having to turn their crops under.
According to the British National Farmers Union president, "we are satisfied the offer they have made is reasonable in terms of current losses. We believe the affected framers will see this as a fair settlement."
Advanta has yet to admit any legal liability for the canola seed - which was supposed to be conventional; but turned out to be contaminated with low levels of glyphosate-resistant seed not approved for planting it Europe. In making the payments, however, Advanta is in effect admitting a mistake was made. Experts say similar contamination problems probably exist in US seed stocks.
After the contaminated seed was discovered in the UK and other European countries, Advanta announced it would move its seed production operations off the Canadian prairies.