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Letter To The Honorable Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice


Location: Washington, DC

Kohl, Feingold Urge The Justice Department To Promptly Resolve Its Investigation Into Seed Competition

Today, Wisconsin Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, along with Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, sent the following letter to Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney urging the Justice Department to swiftly resolve its investigation into generic seed competition.

Please find the text of the letter below:

August 9, 2010

The Honorable Christine A. Varney
Assistant Attorney General
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Assistant Attorney General Varney:

It is our understanding that the Department of Justice is currently investigating a number of issues relating to competition in the national corn and soybean biotech seed markets. Among the issues under scrutiny are allegations that the Monsanto Company is using anticompetitive tactics with regard to its patented genetic seed traits.

We respectfully request that you expeditiously complete this investigation in order to resolve ongoing competitive concerns in these markets. This is vital to the emergence of generic versions of the biotech trait known as Roundup Ready after its patent expires in 2014. Generic entry into the market will promote further competition in the biotech trait sector, enhance innovation and ensure that farmers have access to seeds that are optimized for their growing conditions yielding more food at lower prices.

We understand that the Antitrust Division has a number of important items on its agenda and limited resources with which to address them. However, we believe it is vital to preserve competition in seed markets and in the agricultural industry at large. It is our belief that swift resolution of this particular matter will best serve this important interest.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Herb Kohl
Russell Feingold
Amy Klobuchar
Al Franken

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