Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Greg Stumbo Joins Effort To Protect Kentucky Farmers

Press Release Date:  Monday, August 27, 2007  
Contact Information:  Corey Bellamy, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo filed comments today asking the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to reject a proposed consent decree that would approve Monsanto Company’s acquisition of Delta & Pine Land Company.

General Stumbo noted in the filing that this acquisition will “eliminate competition in agriculture biotechnology and seeds, stifle innovation and product choice, and result in higher prices to U.S. farmers and consumers.”

“This merger is not good for Kentucky farmers. It allows Monsanto to increase its monopoly in agriculture biotechnology and threatens to increase food costs both for farmers and consumers,” Attorney General Stumbo noted. “The consent decree proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice does not do enough to protect healthy competition.”

Currently, Monsanto has market shares ranging from 80% to 98% for biotechnology in corn, soybeans and cotton, the three largest cash crops in the U.S., and has attempted to use this market power to impose significant price increases on Kentucky farmers.

The comments were filed pursuant to the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, commonly referred to as the “Tunney Act,” which requires federal court approval of all civil antitrust consent decrees involving the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). A wide array of companies, consumer groups, farmer organizations, citizens groups, think tanks, companies and public interest and policy groups, such as E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, the American Antitrust Institute, the Organization for Competitive Markets, and the Center for Food Safety, also have lined up against the merger and the proposed consent decree in separate Tunney Act comments filed with DOJ.

Stumbo was joined by Attorneys General from eleven other states. The eleven other states are: Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.