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Agricultural Biotechnology

Genetically Engineered Rice: A Summary of the LL Rice 601 Incident
A.B. Endres and Justin G. Gardner
ALTB_06-04, December 2006


Reports that genetically engineered rice entered the food supply chain surfaced this summer. The unapproved for export varieties, not surprisingly, engendered significant controversy, resulting in the filing of several lawsuits and disruption of the international rice trade. This article summarizes the history of the commingling, compares this incident with the previous StarLink litigation, and analyzes the impact on the rice futures market.
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Focus on Biotechnology—Farmer Liability for Commingled Biotech Crop Shipments
A.B. Endres
March 2005


Emerging regulations for overseas grain shipments ultimately may result in farmer liability for the commingling of even trace amounts of genetically engineered crops. The European Union now requires labeling of all products (including bulk grain shipments) that contain more than 0.9% of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Moreover, there is zero tolerance for unapproved biotech products in the European Union, such as StarLink corn.
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Non-StarLink Farmers Litigation: Accounting to “Share” Landlords and Others with an Interest in the Crop
Donald L. Uchtmann and A. Bryan Endres
ALTB_04-13, October 29, 2004


Many of the 72,076 farmers who filed successful “Corn Loss” claims in the Non-StarLink Farmer Litigation have a duty to account to “share” landlords or others with an interest in the corn crop. This article discusses the Farm Operator's duty to account, and links to a Form and Instructions that may be used for the accounting.
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Non-StarLink Farmer Litigation: Where Is My Settlement Payment? How Much Is It? What Do I Do When It Arrives? How Is It Taxed?
Donald L. Uchtmann and Gary Hoff
ALTB_04-12, Revised November 5, 2004


Over 72,000 successful farmer-claimants will soon receive their shares of a Net Settlement Fund of about $75 million. Most Corn Loss claimants will receive about $2.88 for each eligible corn acre finally approved. Payment will come as a Prepaid Visa™ Direct Card that can be used to obtain a 10% discount at Tractor Supply Company stores or in other ways. Farm operators must account to “share” landlords and others with a legal interest in the corn harvest (a related article addresses in detail the operator's duty to account). Receiving a settlement payment has tax consequences as described herein.
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StarLink: What if You Received a Notice That Your Claim is Deficient?
Donald L. Uchtmann
Revised November 7, 2003


This brief article provides practical information, including examples, of how a farmer might respond if he has just received notice that his previously filed, StarLink-related Corn Loss Proof of Claim is deficient. In most cases, some action is required not later than Saturday, November 15 to cure the problem identified by the Claims Administrator. [The 11/7/03 revision tells how to contact the Claims Administrator in special circumstances, and provides a new example where this was done.]
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Filing Deadline Extended to July 31: How to File Claims for Compensation from the Non-StarLink Farmer’s Class Action Settlement
Donald L. Uchtmann
June 4, 2003


Most Illinois farmers have until July 31, 2003 (an extended filing deadline) to claim their share of the $110 million settlement (plus interest) approved by Judge Moran on April 7, 2003. This article is intended for Farm Operators who have not yet filed their Proof of Claim; the article:
  • Notes that Farm Operators (not Landlords) are the only persons authorized to file the Corn Loss Proof of Claim by July 31, 2003, a new filing deadline.
  • Notes that a Farm Operator submitting a Proof of Claim has a responsibility to account to Landlords with a “share interest” in the crop and others with a “legal interest” in the crop.
  • Describes five specific, practical steps that the primary Farm Operator can take to expeditiously file the Corn Loss Proof of Claim for corn acres harvested in 2000, including how to obtain the Proof of Claim form.
  • Notes that lawyers involved in the case have agreed that it is not necessary to reproduce and attach farm maps when Farm Operators submit the Corn Loss Proof of Claim.
  • Links to an optional Excel Spreadsheet, a helpful tool for Farm Operators who operate multiple farms, are familiar with spreadsheets, and elect to create a spreadsheet attachment to their Proof of Claim.
  • Illustrates through examples how certain parts of the “Statement of Claim” (Part of the Proof of Claim form) can be completed.
  • Refers the reader to other sources of information, including background information about the class action lawsuits that have resulted in this multi-million dollar settlement.
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Corn Farmers Face May 31 Deadline To Submit “Proof of Claims” for Non-StarLink Farmer Class Action Lawsuits
Donald L. Uchtmann
April 10, 2003


Farmers who planted non-StarLink seed in the 2000 growing season (and did not request exclusion from the proposed Settlement Class by the March 21, 2003 deadline) have a stake in a proposed $110,000,000 settlement of class action lawsuits. May 31 is the deadline for such farmers to submit a Proof of Claim for certain claims. This article provides background, describes the Settlement Class, identifies the two types of potential claims, and provides a compensation example. Farmers submitting proper claims may receive payments of about one or two dollars for each acre of corn harvested in 2000 for grain. Farmers can access Proof of Claim Forms, Instructions, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and other important information from the official “Non-StarLink Farmer Litigation” website at The official site lists a Toll Free Helpline phone number: 1 (888) 833-4317.
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StarLink™ : A Case Study of Agricultural Biotechnology Regulation
Donald L. Uchtmann
September, 2002


StarLink is a genetically engineered corn variety approved in the U.S. for feed (but not food) uses and later discovered in human foods. This article will (a) track the pre-StarLink evolution of U.S. biotechnology regulatory policy and the emergence of the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, (b) describe the specific actions taken by APHIS, FDA, and EPA in approving the commercialization of StarLink™, (c) highlight other new developments and subsequent StarLink-related regulatory actions, and (d) glean from the StarLink saga some lessons and insights regarding the U.S. system for biotechnology regulation. This article was published in 7 Drake Journal of Agricultural Law 159 - 211 (2002). Copyright is held by the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law which has given the author permission to use the article for educational purposes. This PDF version (accessed by clicking above) has been formatted so that the page numbers correspond to the page numbers in the printed version in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law.
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Biotechnology Issues and the Pew Charitable Trusts
Donald L. Uchtmann
February, 2002


This brief article provides an overview of the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. A link to its website provides access to a broad range of information about contemporary biotechnology issues. The Pew Initiative represents an excellent source of reasonably balanced information about biotechnology.
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Regulating Foods Derived From Genetically Engineered Crops
Donald L. Uchtmann
June, 2000


This article describes key federal policies and statutes, and the role of the Food and Drug Administration, in assuring that foods derived from genetically engineered crops are as safe as other foods in the United States. The article concludes that the regulatory system is remarkably healthy, but can be improved even further. Also described in the article are the plans announced May 3, 2000 to strengthen the system of science based regulation and consumer access to information. The article was first published in Vol. 17 Agricultural Law Update, No.6 (May 2000).
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Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics    College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
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