Case against Advanta Seeds Headed for Supreme Court Following Failed Mediation
Wednesday, January, 22, 2020
The long court battle against Advanta Seeds will continue after a mediation attempt to resolve the dispute failed.
According to allegations, there was noxious weed shattercane in the company’s sorghum seeds that it sold to farmers. Those involved in the case participated in mediation in mid-December for two days but ended up deadlocked at the end of the session.
The class action is scheduled to go to court in mid-March unless anything changes.
According to Barry Croker, Advanta Seeds spokesman, the company will continue to defend against the allegations. Croker said none of the claims has been proven thus far and "In following court protocol, we cannot speculate on the evidence to be presented as part of the action, nor an outcome, but we're confident in our stance. We maintain confidence in our stringent quality controls and the consistent application of these across our seed breeding and supply practices."
The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of sorghum producers who bought MR43 Elite seeds between 2010 and 2014 from Advanta. Allegedly, the farmers were exposed to a devastating shattercane infestation on their land after planting the seeds. Shattercane is an invasive weed that is similar to sorghum, but not sorghum. Other noxious weeds, including Johnson Grass, were also included in the infestations.
According to court documents, the farmers believe the bags of sorghum they purchased from Advanta were contaminated with shattercane when they bought them. Despite efforts to mediate the dispute, farmers and the company were unable to resolve the matter.