For press inquiries or to schedule an interview with the Attorney General please contact:
503-378-6002 or Jeff.D.Manning@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers and Department of Agriculture Director Phil Ward today announced that a Woodburn seed company will lose its state license for 14 days and serve one year of probation for violations of Oregon's Seed Labeling and Unlawful Trade Practices laws. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, filed today in Marion County Circuit court, and a Consent Order is Western Productions, Inc. (WPI) of Woodburn.
"Oregon's grass seed industry plays an integral part in our agricultural economy," Myers said. "Consumers purchasing seed from Oregon expect honesty in the labeling of products and Oregon's laws were written to meet those expectations."
Department of Agriculture investigators determined that in 1998 and 1999 WPI failed to maintain adequate records and falsified records pertaining to seed labeling on seeds sold in Oregon.
"Oregon's reputation as a producer of world class grass seed could easily be tarnished by companies ignoring our seed law." Ward said. "Improper maintenance of records can lead to mislabeling and a downturn in confidence from those buying Oregon's seed products."
Under the terms of the assurance and the consent order, the wholesale seed dealer license of WPI will be suspended for 14 days, then placed on probationary status for one year. During the next 12 months, the Department of Agriculture will increase monitoring of the company's business practices. WPI will pay for any additional costs.
The Woodburn company will pay the Department of Justice $20,000, of which $10,000 will go to the Agriculture Department as a civil penalty and $10,000 will go to the Department of Justice to fund future consumer protection activities.
Consumers and businesses wanting general consumer protection information may contact the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) and 1-877-877-9392 (toll free) for other areas in the state. The Department of Justice web site is www.doj.state.or.us. Those wanting information on agriculture in Oregon may call the Department of Agriculture at (503) 986-4550 or visit the ODA web site at www.oda.state.or.us
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