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Starlink GE corn - Kraft "off the hook"

by concerned consumer Thursday, Mar. 21, 2002 at 4:58 PM

Kraft was sued for selling GE corn that isn't approved for human consumption in its Taco Bell supermarket products, but part of the court settlement is that they have to put coupons on their products in the stores. Coupons are a marketing tool - is this really punishment?

Kraft Off the Hook in Corn Settlement

Chicago Business | By James Evans | March 8, 2002

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. says won't have to pay a dime of a $9-million settlement in a federal lawsuit over the use of genetically modified corn in supermarket products.

Kraft, one of several defendants accused of selling food containing Starlink corn, is shielded from financial exposure by Aventis CropScience USA Holding Inc., the North Carolina company that helped develop the genetically modified corn. Aventis will pay all costs associated with Kraft's involvement, a Kraft spokeswoman said.

In September 2000, Kraft recalled all Taco Bell Home Originals taco shell products because they contained Starlink corn. The corn has been approved for animal feed but has not yet been approved for human consumption.

Under the settlement, approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge James Moran, a group of food companies will attach $6 million in coupons, each for a dollar discount, to packages of their products. Any of the money not used by consumers as coupons will go to charity. The coupon program will cost $600,000 to administer.

The remainder of the settlement goes to Chicago law firm Krislov and Associates, which gets $2.4 million for filing the class-action suit on behalf of the group of consumers who said they suffered allergic reactions from the Starlink food products.

In addition to Kraft, Chicago-based Azteca Foods Inc. is also a defendant in the lawsuit, along with Garst Seed Co., Azteca Milling Co. and Mission Foods Co.
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