Paul to file for president, re-election in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is officially filing for re-election and for president in his home state Monday, a move he insists does not undermine his faltering presidential campaign.

Paul is the only major candidate running for president who is running for two public offices at once. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham aren’t facing election bids in 2016 for their current jobs and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida decided not to seek re-election in favor of his presidential campaign.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Paul noted that he is not the first to file parallel candidacies in the same year, citing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s double candidacy in 2012 when he ran for re-election and as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential ticket-mate.

"A lot of people who support me want to have my voice on the national stage," Paul said.

The move is complicated for Paul because of a Kentucky law barring candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election. The state Republican party decided to hold its first-ever presidential caucus in March to avoid the conflict in its normal primary election in May. Paul raised $250,000 to cover the caucus’ cost. And on Monday, he is scheduled to pay the $15,000 filing fee to participate in the caucus.

In the interview, Paul said he expects his home-state caucus to be "very competitive" because "there (are) 10 candidates running and all of them have attributes that will attract Republican voters." Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz have already filed for Kentucky’s caucus. Paul said he is focusing most of his efforts on the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and focusing on students, independent-minded voters and "the liberty movement within the GOP."

Paul said his message of stopping the government from collecting personal phone records and decriminalizing minor marijuana offenses "resonates with the youth in a way that nobody else really on the Republican side is able to do." And he said his policy that the United States does "not need to be involved in every civil war around the world" will attract independent-minded voters.

But his efforts to draw attention have been thwarted by political outsiders Trump and Carson.

"I think ultimately people will make decisions on more serious issues and less on flamboyance," Paul said.

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Hemp advocates hope to see a resurgence of the crop that's legal for the first time in decades.

Hemp advocates hope to see a resurgence of the crop that's legal for the first time in decades.

Javier Rodriguez helps harvest some of the 27 acres of hemp on an Andy Graves’ farm near Winchester, Ky. GenCanna, which moved to Kentucky from Canada to focus on hemp, harvested the 27 acres of hemp grown this year in Winchester and processed it to produce a kind of powder they plan to sell to companies that want to put hemp in nutritional supplements. A law was passed in early 2014 to allow experimental hemp farming in states that conduct agricultural research.

By Paul Woolverton, Staff writer

By next summer, some North Carolina farm fields could be filled with cannabis plants – not marijuana, but hemp, which is marijuana’s near-twin in appearance but has little of the ingredient that makes people high.

For the first time in decades, hemp will be a legal crop in this state.

Initially it’s to be grown only on an experimental basis. But hemp advocates hope North Carolina will become part of a national revival of a hemp industry that was knocked down in the 20th century when hemp was lumped in with marijuana by national and local laws against illicit drugs.

The 21st-century American hemp revival is somewhat reminiscent of Colonial times. In the 1700s, according to historical records, leaders in North Carolina and other English colonies in North America encouraged farmers to grow hemp. They aimed to generate income with exports.

In 1766, North Carolina’s legislature voted to open a hemp-inspection warehouse in Campbellton, one of the two towns that later merged and became Fayetteville. A journal of the legislative session says the lawmakers also renewed for four years a bounty paid to hemp farmers.

More than two centuries later, North Carolina and the United States were importing all of their hemp products. After encouraging hemp production during World War II to supply the military with rope and other materials, the government effectively banned hemp farming in 1970. The last known American commercial crop was reported to have been grown in Wisconsin in 1957, according to The Denver Post newspaper.

In early 2014, Congress and the president approved a law to allow experimental hemp farming in states that conduct agricultural research. North Carolina’s lawmakers voted nearly unanimously in late September to join this effort. The legislation, which emerged with little warning or opportunity for vetting or public comment in the final days of the 2015 lawmaking session, creates the opportunity "to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp."

Including North Carolina, 27 states are pursuing hemp production, says the Vote Hemp Inc. advocacy group.

That’s great news for people such Brenda Harris, who operates the The Apple Crate Natural Market health food stores in Fayetteville and Hope Mills. The hemp seed, hemp-based protein powders and hemp-based soaps, lotions and oils on her shelves are imported from Canada and overseas.

Hemp seed is high in protein, Harris said, and in essential fatty acids that people need for good health.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is reported to reduce nausea, suppress seizures, help with cancer, tumors, anxiety and depression and other health problems, says the Leaf Science website. But it notes that most of the studies that made these findings were with animals, not people.

In addition, hemp can be used in a number of fiber-based products.

"I’d love to know my dollars were supporting a North Carolina farmer," Harris said.

"It will definitely mean the product will be more competitively priced," she said. "And it’s not a terribly expensive product to start with, but still I feel like with bringing that closer to home, it’ll be more sustainable, there’ll be less shipping involved, there’ll be less mark-up involved. That’s usually the way the chain works."

New opportunities

Organic farmer Lee Edwards of Kinston, about 90 minutes east of Fayetteville, could become one of Harris’ North Carolina suppliers.

Edwards plans to become part of North Carolina’s hemp pilot project and get a crop into the ground in mid-2016. He thinks hemp will make more money than the corn, wheat, soybeans and cereal grains he grows now.

"It’s a lower input cost and a higher profit per acre crop," Edwards said. He estimated hemp could net him $1,250 per acre after expenses versus the $400 at most "on a real good year" from traditional grains. And he hopes that he can get two hemp crops a year.

Las Vegas-based Hemp Inc. opened a processing plant last year in Spring Hope, between Raleigh and Rocky Mount. It has been extracting fiber from kenaf, which is similar to hemp (and never was banned), and plans to process hemp as it becomes legal and available in the U.S.

The decortication plant extracts fibers that can be used in paper, clothing and other fiber-based products, even car parts and building materials, according to the Hemp Inc. website.

Back in Fayetteville, researcher Shirley Chao and her students at Fayetteville State University might be able to get North Carolina-grown hemp seed for their research into a hemp-derived insecticide. Until now, they have been buying imported seed.

Over the past several years, Chao and her students discovered that chemicals in hemp have a variety of detrimental effects on roaches, carpenter ants and grain-eating beetles.

"We found that it’s very effective in controlling reproduction," Chao said. "And when they feed on it, they don’t develop normally. And so they, most of them, either die or have these deformations that you can see. And then if they do survive, they don’t reproduce normally."

Chao hopes that further research will demonstrate that the hemp-based pesticide has no ill effects on people or other vertebrates. That quality could make it preferable to other pesticides in use today.

The school also is seeking a patent for the pesticide.

Regulatory system

Before anyone buys hemp legally grown in North Carolina, the state has to set up its system to regulate it and issue hemp-growing licenses to the farmers.

That process is not moving as quickly as advocates would like.

The new hemp law says a state commission must be set up to license and regulate the growers. But first, the industry has to raise $200,000 in private donations to pay for the commission.

As of mid-November, about $20,000 had been raised, said Thomas Shumaker, the executive director of the N.C. Industrial Hemp Association.

Shumaker’s group led the effort at the legislature this year to pass the hemp law.

Once the money is raised, a five-person N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission will be appointed to set up the state’s hemp program, the law says. It is to work with federal law enforcement or other federal agencies as appropriate, vet people seeking licenses and set rules for how the program will operate.

Because of law enforcement concerns, the GPS coordinates of every hemp farm will be noted, and the hemp will be subject to testing to ensure that it isn’t actually marijuana. Under the law, hemp plants must have no more than 0.3 percent THC content, the psychoactive chemical that makes marijuana users high.

Marijuana typically has 5 to 20 percent THC and the highest grades carry 25 t
o 30 percent, Leaf Science says.

It will probably be June before North Carolina’s hemp regulatory system is in place and farmers can start planting, Shumaker said.

Learning from others

In the meantime, the state’s farmers can learn from growers in several other states who have been experimenting with hemp.

Kentucky just finished its second year of its pilot project. It had 922 acres planted in 2015, said Adam Watson, the industrial hemp program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The state is looking at different varieties of hemp for grain (the seeds), fiber and nutraceuticals, which are oils that are thought to have health benefits.

The program has worked with with law enforcement, Watson said. Police know the growers have hemp, not marijuana, he said, but some thieves didn’t know the difference and went into a field and stole some.

Farmers have tested seed from Canada, Australia and Europe, he said. They are allowed to sell their harvest, but it’s too soon to figure out yet the extent of the potential market, he said.

While hemp can be used to make paper, textiles, building materials and other items, it may not necessarily be the best raw material for those products, Watson said. Much depends on whether the hemp-based products prove to be practical and cost-effective, he said.

Watson and other industry observers said the American hemp industry is in a chicken-and-egg situation in getting started: Because there have been no growers, there is no marketplace or infrastructure to buy their product. But without growers, there is no incentive to set up a marketplace.

But there is demand for hemp.

The Congressional Research Service this year estimated that in 2013, the United States imported $36.9 million in hemp products. The Hemp Industries Association estimated that the total U.S. retail value of hemp products in 2013 was $581 million, the research service said.

People like Edwards, the farmer from Kinston, want a piece of that market.

"I hope to start with around 50 acres," Edwards said. "That’s more of just getting going the first year. Depending on how things go, I’d love to get up to a couple hundred acres."

Staff writer Paul Woolverton can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3512.

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The DEA has failed to eradicate marijuana. Now Congress wants it to stop trying.

By Christopher Ingraham November 27 at 12:46 PM

The Drug Enforcement Administration is not having a great year.

The chief of the agency stepped down in April under a cloud of scandal. The acting administrator since then has courted ridicule for saying pot is "probably not" as dangerous as heroin, and more recently he provoked 100,000 petition-signers and seven members of Congress to call for his head after he called medical marijuana "a joke."

This fall, the administration earned a scathing rebuke from a federal judge over its creative interpretation of a law intended to keep it from harassing medical marijuana providers. Then, the Brookings Institution issued a strongly worded report outlining the administration’s role in "stifling medical research" into medical uses of pot.

Unfortunately for the DEA, the year isn’t over yet. Last week, a group of 12 House members led by Ted Lieu (D) of California wrote to House leadership to push for a provision in the upcoming spending bill that would strip half of the funds away from the DEA’s Cannabis Eradication Program and put that money toward programs that "play a far more useful role in promoting the safety and economic prosperity of the American people": domestic violence prevention and overall spending reduction efforts.

Each year, the DEA spends about $18 million in efforts with state and local authorities to pull up marijuana plants being grown indoors and outdoors. The program has been plagued by scandal and controversy in recent years. In the mid-2000s, it became clear that the overwhelming majority of "marijuana" plants netted by the program were actually "ditchweed," or the wild, non-cultivated, non-psychoactive cousin of the marijuana that people smoke.

More recently, overzealous marijuana eradicators have launched heavily armed raids on okra plants and warned the Utah legislature of the threat posed by rabbits who had "cultivated a taste for the marijuana." Last year, the DEA spent an average of roughly $4.20 (yes, really) for each marijuana plant it successfully uprooted. In some states, the cost to taxpayers approached $60 per uprooted plant.

The program has also proven to be ineffective. The idea behind pulling up pot plants is to reduce the supply of marijuana, thereby reducing its use. In 1977, two years before the program’s introduction, less than a quarter of Americans said they’d ever tried pot, according to Gallup. By 2015, after 36 years of federal marijuana eradication efforts, the share of Americans ever trying pot nearly doubled, to 44 percent.

Given that marijuana is legal in some form or another in nearly half of the nation’s states, some lawmakers are saying enough is enough. "The seizure of these plants has served neither an economic nor public-safety nor a health-related purpose," Lieu and his colleagues write. "Its sole impact has been to expend limited federal resources that are better spent elsewhere."

The letter-writers note that the provision to strip $9 million in funding from the program passed on voice vote earlier in the year, "without any opposition from either party." They urge leadership to include the provision in a must-pass spending bill later this year.

Lieu doesn’t want to stop there: Next year he intends to introduce a measure "to eliminate the program completely," he said earlier this year. Whether that actually happens will probably depend on how this year’s measure fares during upcoming spending bill negotiations.

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.

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Honolulu — A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Supreme Court justice blocks Native Hawaiian vote count

Jennifer Sinco Kellerher, Associated Press 1:26 p.m. EST November 27, 2015

Honolulu — A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s order also stops the certification of any winners pending further direction from him or the entire court.

Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. Voting ends Monday.

A group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians is challenging the election, arguing Hawaii residents who don’t have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights. They argue it’s an unconstitutional, racially exclusive process.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright in Honolulu ruled last month the purpose of the private election is to establish self-determination for the indigenous people of Hawaii. Those elected won’t be able to alter state or local laws, he said.

The challengers appealed and also filed an emergency motion to block the votes from being counted. Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency motion, prompting the challengers to appeal to the high court.

“Enormous political, social and economic consequences are at stake,” the application to the Supreme Court said. “The delegates chosen through this election will decide whether to adopt a new government that will affect every individual living in the state, as well as hundreds of thousands of individuals identified as Native Hawaiians.”

They argued without Supreme Court intervention, there would be “no remedy if the votes in this election are counted and the results certified,” the application said. “This election cannot be undone.

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The DEA has failed to eradicate marijuana. Now Congress wants it to stop trying.

By Christopher Ingraham November 27 at 12:46 PM

The Drug Enforcement Administration is not having a great year.

The chief of the agency stepped down in April under a cloud of scandal. The acting administrator since then has courted ridicule for saying pot is "probably not" as dangerous as heroin, and more recently he provoked 100,000 petition-signers and seven members of Congress to call for his head after he called medical marijuana "a joke."

This fall, the administration earned a scathing rebuke from a federal judge over its creative interpretation of a law intended to keep it from harassing medical marijuana providers. Then, the Brookings Institution issued a strongly worded report outlining the administration’s role in "stifling medical research" into medical uses of pot.

Unfortunately for the DEA, the year isn’t over yet. Last week, a group of 12 House members led by Ted Lieu (D) of California wrote to House leadership to push for a provision in the upcoming spending bill that would strip half of the funds away from the DEA’s Cannabis Eradication Program and put that money toward programs that "play a far more useful role in promoting the safety and economic prosperity of the American people": domestic violence prevention and overall spending reduction efforts.

Each year, the DEA spends about $18 million in efforts with state and local authorities to pull up marijuana plants being grown indoors and outdoors. The program has been plagued by scandal and controversy in recent years. In the mid-2000s, it became clear that the overwhelming majority of "marijuana" plants netted by the program were actually "ditchweed," or the wild, non-cultivated, non-psychoactive cousin of the marijuana that people smoke.

More recently, overzealous marijuana eradicators have launched heavily armed raids on okra plants and warned the Utah legislature of the threat posed by rabbits who had "cultivated a taste for the marijuana." Last year, the DEA spent an average of roughly $4.20 (yes, really) for each marijuana plant it successfully uprooted. In some states, the cost to taxpayers approached $60 per uprooted plant.

The program has also proven to be ineffective. The idea behind pulling up pot plants is to reduce the supply of marijuana, thereby reducing its use. In 1977, two years before the program’s introduction, less than a quarter of Americans said they’d ever tried pot, according to Gallup. By 2015, after 36 years of federal marijuana eradication efforts, the share of Americans ever trying pot nearly doubled, to 44 percent.

Given that marijuana is legal in some form or another in nearly half of the nation’s states, some lawmakers are saying enough is enough. "The seizure of these plants has served neither an economic nor public-safety nor a health-related purpose," Lieu and his colleagues write. "Its sole impact has been to expend limited federal resources that are better spent elsewhere."

The letter-writers note that the provision to strip $9 million in funding from the program passed on voice vote earlier in the year, "without any opposition from either party." They urge leadership to include the provision in a must-pass spending bill later this year.

Lieu doesn’t want to stop there: Next year he intends to introduce a measure "to eliminate the program completely," he said earlier this year. Whether that actually happens will probably depend on how this year’s measure fares during upcoming spending bill negotiations.

Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.

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Honolulu — A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Supreme Court justice blocks Native Hawaiian vote count

Jennifer Sinco Kellerher, Associated Press 1:26 p.m. EST November 27, 2015

Honolulu — A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s order also stops the certification of any winners pending further direction from him or the entire court.

Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. Voting ends Monday.

A group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians is challenging the election, arguing Hawaii residents who don’t have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights. They argue it’s an unconstitutional, racially exclusive process.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright in Honolulu ruled last month the purpose of the private election is to establish self-determination for the indigenous people of Hawaii. Those elected won’t be able to alter state or local laws, he said.

The challengers appealed and also filed an emergency motion to block the votes from being counted. Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency motion, prompting the challengers to appeal to the high court.

“Enormous political, social and economic consequences are at stake,” the application to the Supreme Court said. “The delegates chosen through this election will decide whether to adopt a new government that will affect every individual living in the state, as well as hundreds of thousands of individuals identified as Native Hawaiians.”

They argued without Supreme Court intervention, there would be “no remedy if the votes in this election are counted and the results certified,” the application said. “This election cannot be undone.

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Pot forces come out in NKY

635832703609858728-001TONY-VANCE

NKY groups for and against legal marijuana get their word out early.

(Photo: The Enquirer/Amanda Rossmann)

Talk about legalizing marijuana didn’t stop at Ohio’s southern border.

Just weeks after voters rejected the issue that would have made marijuana legal in Ohio, Northern Kentuckians for and against the idea for the commonwealth are voicing their opinions and gathering support for their views.

A career Air Force veteran from Campbell County who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder invited Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana, KY4MM, to Northern Kentucky for a town hall meeting on Nov. 8.

Thomas "Tony" Vance, 65, said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from being sexually abused as a child. Now he speaks out on behalf of other veterans who are suffering from PTSD and find marijuana to be "the only" way to feel normal.

Vance wants marijuana legalized in Kentucky. KY4MM is lobbying specifically for medical marijuana.

Meanwhile, drug prevention groups in Northern Kentucky are organizing for a "marijuana summit" on Dec. 1 in opposition to legalizing marijuana in Kentucky.

"My main concern has and always will be the impact (legalized marijuana) has on children, teenagers specifically," said Bonnie Hedrick,  coordinator of the Northern Kentucky Prevention Alliance and Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy. "When substances are available, kids are more able to use them. One example we have is prescription drugs. When they’re available in the household, kids are much more likely to use them. Also alcohol and tobacco."

The Ohio issue and a nationwide push toward legalizing marijuana helped spur the Kentucky foes of legalized marijuana into action, and their determination to push ahead even when Issue 3 failed. "The fight isn’t over," Hedrick said.

In the two weeks since the Nov. 3 election, when voters rejected Issue 3’s legalization plan, the Ohio Legislature has promised to examine options to allow limited access to medical marijuana. The campaign director for Issue 3, Ian James, said his organization has been meeting with voters across to state, and will propose an alternative initiative for the 2016 ballot.

Vance said the meeting supporting legal marijuana in Alexandria on Nov. 8 drew about 30 people, including some from outside of the region. KY4MM, which was established three years ago, led the town hall. Its founder and executive director, Jaime Montalvo, said the group has found it difficult, but not impossible, to swing Kentucky legislators to its side.

Montalvo said the turnout in Northern Kentucky was about average for town hall meetings his group has had around the state, adding, "A lot of people are still afraid to come."

Drug prevention coalitions in Northern Kentucky, meanwhile, have their Marijuana Summit, offering a daylong series of discussions about why marijuana shouldn’t be legalized in the Bluegrass state.

Kim Moser, director of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, said the community meeting is a chance for folks to get facts about marijuana.

"Our office is engaged in community outreach to educate, ensuring folks get accurate information," Moser said.

Those who attend will hear "both sides" of the argument to legalize marijuana, she said, "and get an understanding of the national landscape in terms of unintended consequences in states where marijuana has been legalized." The agenda includes discussion about marijuana and the adolescent brain and hemp versus marijuana.

Moser said that in light of the current heroin epidemic that Northern Kentucky is experiencing, her office is encouraging "a drug-free community altogether."

Montalvo, founder and executive director for KY4MM, said that in the past few years he’s heard from numerous families throughout Kentucky who want medical cannabis legalized in the commonwealth. "They would rather use cannabis than the opioids that they are prescribed," he said.

Medical marijuana has already been an issue before Kentucky legislators.

Last year, Kentucky Rep. Greg Stumbo, speaker of the House of Representatives, introduced a medical marijuana bill. It never passed committee. And in 2014, Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, introduced a bill that would let Kentuckians use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. The bill also died.

Another measure was enacted that allows trial use of cannabis oil to treat children who have seizures. But that law had many obstacles written into it and has not yet been useful for parents who have children with seizures.

To register or learn more about the Northern Kentucky Marijuana Summit, go to eventbrite.com or drugfreenky.org.

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Nearly 3,000 Indiana corn farmers claim in a lawsuit that the Swiss company Syngenta prematurely released a genetically modified seed to market, costing them millions in losses from plummeting corn prices and a Chinese import ban.

© Brent Smith

According to Keith Orebaugh, lead plaintiff who is seeking class-action status in the lawsuit, the price of corn has plummeted over the last two years since Syngenta introduced a genetically modified corn seed called Agrisure Viptera. Farmers claim the company sold the seed to US farmers and corporations without gaining approval from China, a key importer of US corn. The problems began when China banned US corn after it detected shipments containing the unapproved GMO trait, MIR 162.

Orebaugh claimed because of the ban he suffered financial losses. He said he used to be able to sell a hundred bushels of corn for up to $700 in 2013. By late 2014, the same number of bushels was fetching about half the price. He doesn’t use Syngenta seed but, like thousands of farmers around the country, he blames Syngenta for the ban.

These cases concern the Syngenta defendants’ decision to commercialize corn seeds containing a genetically modified trait, known as ‘MIR 162,’ that reportedly controls certain insects. Corn with this trait has entered U.S. corn stocks but has not been approved for import by the Chinese government, which has imposed a complete ban on US corn with this trait,” according to the complaint. Plaintiffs are identified as “corn growers and a grain exporter who suffered economic losses resulting from China’s refusal to accept MIR162 corn.”

Farmers also blame Syngenta for misleading them about when the GMO corn could be sold in China. Syngenta made the request to sell GMO corn to China in March 2010, and told farmers and grain handlers that approval was on schedule by spring 2012. Incomplete filing by the corporation delayed the approval process, and Chinese approval for the corn did not come until December 2014.

"Syngenta, however, chose not to inform growers and the grain industry of the growing danger. Instead, it crafted a plan to mislead grain handlers and growers to believe that Syngenta would have import approval from China by the time Viptera was harvested despite all indications to the contrary," the complaint says. "The purpose of this plan was to sell more Viptera."

Syngenta’s legal counsel has denied the allegations, arguing the price of corn had dropped before China’s ban, and that the ban was introduced when China had its own record harvest. Lawyers for the Swiss company also say the corporation shared updates about the approval process with farmers and grain holders.

In Indiana alone, losses were estimated to be in the millions of dollars, Steve Wagner of Wagner Reese LLP told The Indianapolis Star. The state is the fifth largest producer of corn in the US.

The National Grain and Feed Association said “nationwide the loss is estimated to be nearly $3 billion.”

The Indiana farmers join other lawsuits filed against Syngenta by farmers and grain exporters in Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, in both federal and state courts starting two years ago.

Indiana farmer Orebaugh is seeking a class-action status in the lawsuit as a tactic to extend the state’s statute of limitations by several months, to give farmers more time to file individual claims. The state has a two-year limit on civil cases, which expired on November 19.

The federal class-action lawsuits have been consolidated in federal court in Kansas City. Some of the claims were dismissed in September, but a federal judge allowed the rest to move forward. State lawsuits are being consolidated in a Minnesota state court, where the seed corporation has a subsidiary.

Syngenta said it was Cargill and ADM’s fault for not keeping the MIR 162 corn separate from approved strains. The company says it told Cargill in January 2013 that China’s approval for the GMO strain was not available, but Cargill “nonetheless doubled down on its gamble” by entering into contracts from February to July 2013 to ship more than 2 million metric tons of corn to China, according to Reuters.

“Cargill and ADM decided that it was in their economic interest to try to ship corn containing Viptera to China anyway” to profit from high corn prices, the lawsuit said.

In a related story, both Monsanto Co. and China National Chemical Corp have shown interest in acquiring Syngenta. The state-owned ChemChina offered $42 billion for the company this month, which would have transformed the Chinese state-owned company into a direct competitor with Monsanto. The bid was rejected.

Syngenta has one of the broadest portfolios of seeds in the industry, with 6,800 varieties of its own proprietary genetics, according to Bloomberg.

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UK gets $6 million grant to research cocaine addiction

Saturday, November 21, 2015 

 

Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2015 12:22 AM

By Linda B. Blackford Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON – A group of University of Kentucky researchers has won a $6 million grant to further develop a potential treatment for cocaine abuse.

UK College of Pharmacy professor Chang-Guo Zhan, along with UK professors Fang Zheng and Sharon Walsh, and Wake Forest University professor Mei-Chuan Ko, are researching new therapies for overdose and addiction.

"Dr. Zhan’s groundbreaking work in this field cannot be overstated," interim dean Kelly M. Smith said. "There currently is no FDA approved treatment for cocaine overdose or cocaine addiction, and Dr. Zhan and his research team are trying to change that. Developing such therapies would be a major breakthrough for health care."

Previously, Zhan’s team designed and tested CocH1, an enzyme that breaks down cocaine in the bloodstream without producing harmful byproducts in the body.

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