25 October 1999
GM firms face £millions lawsuit

LAW firms in the US and UK are preparing class action suits for hundreds of millions of pounds against companies producing genetically modified (GM) seeds and crops.

The Independent reports that US law firms met with the UK solicitors Mishcon de Reya to discuss the action.

Targets will include Monsanto, DuPont, AstraZeneca, Novartis and AgrEvo.

The first actions in the US courts will involve allegations of anti-competitive behaviour by the companies.

They will also claim collusive action by the companies to gain joint control over food production.

A further issue to be raised is whether there has been a concerted effort to force the commercialisation of GM foods at a time when the safety of the foods was in doubt.