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0107 PD: PD Industry Notes

Published on 10 January 2007

Cenzone allowed to file suit against Alltech

In a recent development in the litigation between Alltech Inc. and Cenzone Tech Inc., a federal judge allowed Cenzone to file claims for antitrust violations against Alltech in November 2006, rejecting Alltech’s objections to the filing of the claims.

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Cenzone’s antitrust claims allege that Alltech violated federal antitrust laws by suing Cenzone for infringement of a patent that Alltech knew or should have known was invalid. The patent is U.S. Patent 6,045,834 which concerns animal feed compositions that contain modified yeast cell wall extract and a mineral clay.

In its antitrust claims, Cenzone alleges that Alltech improperly obtained its patent because Alltech failed to disclose to the U.S. patent office relevant information that Alltech knew about and that would have resulted in a rejection of the patent application by the U.S. Patent Office.

As a result, if a federal court determines that Alltech’s U.S. patent is invalid because of Alltech’s misconduct before the U.S. Patent Office, Alltech would have no basis for its lawsuit against Cenzone, and Alltech would be liable for patent misuse.

Cenzone also alleges that Alltech’s U.S. patent is also invalid because feed producers and farm operators have used animal feed products containing yeast cell wall and mineral clay to feed animals as varied as poultry, cattle and shrimp, years before Alltech filed for its patent. If such prior use is proven, the court can determine that Alltech’s patent is invalid.

American Farm Bureau files petition for review of EPA’s rules for air quality

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The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality standards. AFBF along with the National Pork Producers Council does not believe science warrants the regulation of agricultural dust.

Specifically, EPA issued a rule revising the Clean Air Act National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter on Oct. 17, 2006. In adjusting the annual and daily air quality standards for particulate matter, EPA also rejected an earlier proposal to exclude agricultural dust from regulation. AFBF President Bob Stallman said that EPA’s rule is not based on sound science and the decision to regulate agricultural dust will negatively impact U.S. farmers and ranchers.

“Our farmers and ranchers agree on the importance of producing food and fiber in a fashion that is environmentally sound,” said Stallman. “However, regulations imposed upon U.S. farmers and ranchers must have a scientific basis. Over-regulation simply restricts farmers and ranchers from being productive and serving as global leaders in providing safe and affordable food in the U.S. and abroad.”

Checkoff funds create programs to help producers communicate dairying to the public

Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) says checkoff funds are helping develop dairy farmer image programs that include consumer research, community relations support and communication training to promote and protect the public image of dairy farmers and the dairy industry.

DMI has launched a new website, www.dairyfarmingtoday.org, to show the public how dairy producers care for their animals, protect the land and produce safe, wholesome milk. The site features real-life stories from dairy farm families, a dairy dictionary to explain industry terms and information on milk quality and safety.

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For more information about the dairy farmer image efforts, visit www.dairycheckoff.com. PD

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