BASF Replies To Growers’ Suit

Published online: Apr 11, 2002
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A Trial Court has denied, without comment, BASF’s motions for judgement notwithstanding the verdict, for a new trial due to trial ruling errors and for class de-certification.

The motions came following the judgement against the company by a Minnesota county court in the case of Peterson vs. BASF Corporation for price fixing.

BASF’s statement following the awarding of $52 million—with interest and costs—for selling the product, Poast and Poast Plus herbicides for higher prices to specialty crop growers than the same chemical sold to growers in the major crops.

“We continue to believe that this jury verdict threatens the ability of crop-protection product manufacturers to develop and offer innovative products for high-risk, minor-crop markets.

“If allowed to stand, this verdict is likely to discourage companies from investing needed resources to serve high-risk, high-value, low-acre minor crop markets. That would be bad for our industry, and bad for farming. Consequently, we will pursue all appropriate remedies to overturn this verdict,” the BASF statement read.

The statement went on to explain that steps to register a product are expensive regardless of the size of the market. Liability risks vary by crop, from low for commodity row crops like soybeans to quite large for high-value, low-acreage minor crops.

“If companies are not able to price their products high enough to cover their costs to bring a product to market, support its safe use in the specific market, and return a profit, then minor-crop farmers in particular are likely to be left without important tools they need.”