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Monsanto Says States Closed 5-Year Probe of Seeds

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed company, said attorneys general from Iowa and other states have closed a 5-year investigation into its seed and herbicide businesses without taking further action.

Monsanto received written notification from the Iowa attorney general’s office that the inquiry begun in September 2007 has concluded, the St. Louis-based company said today in a statement on its website. The probe was related to production and marketing of glyphosate, a weed-killer marketed by Monsanto as Roundup, as well as licensing of genetically modified crops.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division last month dropped its probe into possible anti-competitive practices in the seed industry. Iowa had coordinated its inquiry with at least six other states.

“We’re pleased that through our ongoing dialog with the state attorneys general we were given the opportunity to share information about our business and our commitment to serve the agriculture sector that led to the successful conclusion of this matter,” David Snively, Monsanto general counsel, said in an e-mailed statement.

DuPont Co., which accuses its rival of anti-competitive practices, lied in federal court about its right to use Monsanto seed technology, U.S. District Judge Richard Webber said in an order unsealed last month. Webber provided the order to the justice department in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Kaskey in Houston at jkaskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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