ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  24 November 2000


Thanks to Stokely for this.
* * *
Aventis faces Dollars 6m bill after soya fails  - by Ramond Colitt
Financial Times (London) (Commodities & Agriculture section) - 23 November 2000,

SAO PAULO BODY: Aventis, the European life science company, faces an estimated Dollars
6m in costs as a result of crop damage suffered by Brazilian soya farmers who used one of its pesticides.

Aventis has offered to compensate farmers by financing a new crop, including the cost of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and labour. It estimates total payments will total Dollars 6m.

But some producers are demanding additional compensation for forgone revenue and say the company may face a much larger bill. "If they don't pay we will sue the company," said Valdecir Mokwa, head of the agricultural association of Maringa, in northern Parana state. He is preparing legal action with producers in other states. He added that replanting with new seeds had
produced even worse results for at least six producers in the region and suggested that residuals of the pesticide maybe to blame.

Aventis halted all sales of Rhodiauram in late October and ordered a recall after the pesticide prevented soya seeds from germinating. "The product caused an intoxication," said Gilberto Schiavinato, Aventis marketing manager for Brazil. He insisted the product had only affected 70,000 hectares, or roughly 3 per cent of the 2.5m hectares where the product was applied.

The problem has occurred in five of Brazil's principal soyabean-producing states. Mr Schiavinato said the company was still studying the exact cause of the problem. Rhodiauram is currently
imported from Belgium and has been on the Brazilian market for 20 years with annual sales of approximately Dollars 1.5m.

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