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Farmers from Missouri, Arkansas sue Bayer over rice prices

By Robert Frederick, KWMU science reporter

St. Louis, MO – A group of Missouri and Arkansas rice farmers filed a lawsuit this week against Bayer CropScience. They claim the company's actions led to the price of rice dropping fifteen percent since August.

During that month, the Department of Agriculture announced that the U.S. rice supply had been contaminated with genetically modified rice. While the Food and Drug Administration wasn't concerned, prices fell as many countries imposed import restrictions.

"The Missouri and Arkansas farmers that I represent are very concerned that this fifteen percent loss in the price of rice will be permanent," said St. Louis attorney Don Downing, who is representing the farmers. "And the only way to recoup these losses are from Bayer."

Bayer Cropscience, the defendant, acquired the genetically modified strain of rice when it bought Adventis Cropscience in 2002.

Representatives of Bayer Cropscience could not be reached for comment.

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