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Quarantined U.S. soybeans in Aurora sold

(Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --

The Independent:AURORA, Neb -- Aurora Cooperative Interim General Manager Harlan Schafer said Monday that an agreement has been reached to sell 500,000 bushels of soybeans previously quarantined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, adding in a written statement that, "These soybeans had been declared contaminated when one load of soybeans that potentially contained residue from a genetically modified corn plant was put in storage with other beans."

The soybeans in question were first delivered to Stauffer Seed Co., which contracts with test plot growers for ProdiGene Inc. of College Station, Texas. ProdiGene would be responsible for paying costs if the soybeans were destroyed. The estimated open market value of the 500,000 bushels would be about $2.7 million.

In an agreement with the USDA, the soybeans were sold at fair market price "to remove the exposure of Aurora Cooperative and its stockholders from any potential financial loss related to the soybeans," the written statement said.

Schafer said he's not sure what will happen to the soybeans.