Ark.’s Producers Rice Mill Target of Biotech Rice Lawsuit

February 12, 2007

A federal lawsuit by a British company is seeking damages from Stuttgart, Ark.-based Producers Rice Mill over traces of unapproved genetically engineered rice that were found in the food supply.

Tilda Ltd. of Essex filed the suit in federal court in Little Rock on Jan. 23.

In August, trace amounts of the rice, designated LLRICE601, were found in storage bins in Arkansas and Missouri. Bayer CropScience AG, a German company with U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C., sought and received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for human consumption of the rice after the contamination was discovered.

Bayer CropScience also is a defendant in the suit, which says some of the LLRICE601 was in a shipment that arrived in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Riceland Foods, which like Producers is a farmer-owned cooperative, is also named in the lawsuit.

Eighteen of 60-plus lawsuits over the LLRICE601 have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.

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