Interveners out of RiceTec lawsuit

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RiceTec Inc., a hybrid rice seed developer, reports that the 51 interveners from Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana that attempted to join a lawsuit against the company have opted to remove themselves from that action.

"RiceTec is pleased with this development," said John Nelsen, RiceTec president. "As farmers in Arkansas and across the Midsouth continue successful rice harvests, RiceTec remains focused on the future of the rice industry and the care and service of its customers."

A report earlier this summer explained that intervener farmers had joined an Arkansas farmer in a lawsuit filed in mid-July. The contention of the lawsuit is that RiceTec hybrid rice seed has not been of appropriate quality for producing long-grain rice which meets standards comparable to the U.S. rice industry’s reputation and that the seed does not produce the rice volume that should be expected.

But RiceTec has been adamant the lawsuit is groundless. Over the past five years, RiceTec has invested more than $75 million in research, product development and customer support to ensure that American rice farmers have viable rice product choices to grow and that domestic and international consumers have a sustainable supply of rice for their tables, the company noted.

In the next five years, Nelsen said that RiceTec plans to invest another $130 million to develop even more advanced rice seed products.

"RiceTec has set the standard for lowering the carbon footprint for rice production while developing higher-yielding, more disease-tolerant, top-quality hybrid rice seed that has proven itself on the American farm, and we will continue to do so," he said.

RiceTec is headquartered in Alvin, Texas, RiceTec Inc. has been developing hybrid rice seed since 1988, offering the first commercial hybrid rice seed product in 1999.

Fifty-one rice farmers and farming operations in three states who had filed a motion to join a farmer involved in a lawsuit against RiceTec over problems with hybrid seed rice have withdrawn their motion, and will instead file their suit separately within the next few weeks, an attorney for the farmers has announced.

Clayton Smaistrla, with Goldman Phipps, said the motion to join the lawsuit filed by farmers in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana was withdrawn Sept. 30, from the Circuit Court of Greene County, Ark. The action came in response to a recent RiceTec filing, he said.

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