Black farmers’ lawsuit over fake seeds heads to court

Black farmers’ lawsuit over fake seeds heads to court

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Black farmers and the Agriculturalist Association are back in court to learn what’s next in their lawsuit against a company that they said sold them fake soybean seeds at a convention.

Black farmers will have a status hearing in federal court Wednesday morning in the case they're describing in biblical terms to "David and Goliath" as they take on a giant seed company.

The group of farmers from Louisiana and the Mid-South said the Stine Seed Company purposefully switched seeds in order to sell black farmers a sub par product at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in March 2017.

After losing millions of dollars, the farmers took the seeds to experts at Mississippi State University to have them tested. They said the tests show the seeds sold to the black farmers were not certified Stine seeds.

Stine Seed's president issued a statement that reads:

“The lawsuit against Stine Seed Company is without merit and factually unsupportable. Stine takes seriously any allegations of unlawful, improper, or discriminatory conduct and is disturbed by the baseless allegations leveled against the company. Upon learning of these claims, the company took swift action to conduct an internal investigation, which has not revealed any evidence that would support these allegations. Stine intends to vigorously defend itself against this meritless lawsuit and has filed a motion to dismiss. Our focus is on continuing to serve all our customers with the highest degree of integrity and respect that are the bedrock of our company’s values.”
Stine Seed Company

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) recently wrote letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice on behalf of black farmers.

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