The maker of controversial “StarLink” corn has agreed to pay U-S farmers and elevator owners up to a billion dollars for their losses. “StarLink” is genetically-modified and only approved for animal consumption, but it was co-mingled with this fall’s harvest and contaminated billions of bushels. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced the agreement this morning. Farmers who planted “StarLink” will be paid 25-cents per bushel, plus any storage, transportation or testing costs. In addition, Aventis — the maker of StarLink — will pay to cover the corn’s loss of value. Miller estimates Aventis will pay anywhere from one-hundred-million to one billion dollars as a result of the binding agreement. Miller believes Aventis has deep enough pockets to cover the losses. He says although this is an enormous cost for Aventis’s long term business interests, they are acting responsibly.Farmers and elevators have until February 15th to sign up for the payments. State attorneys general from Iowa, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin signed off on the agreement late last night. Miller says StarLink corn made up 40-percent of Iowa’s crop.
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