Forage Genetics International filed suit today in U.S. District Court against Alforex Seeds alleging that Alforex makes false and misleading claims in its advertising and promotional materials in violation of federal and state law.
The suit alleges that Indiana-based Alforex promotes its Hi-Gest alfalfa as a low-lignin variety that is comparable or superior to FGI’s HarvXtra alfalfa reduced-lignin trait, when in fact it is only comparable to conventional alfalfa varieties already on the market.
Lignin content increases as alfalfa plants mature, thus decreasing alfalfa fiber digestibility and reducing the nutrients potentially available to livestock from the alfalfa. The suit alleges that FGI’s HarvXtra alfalfa is the industry’s first alfalfa technology developed to maximize quality by significantly reducing the amount of lignin in the plant.
“We believe there is confusion in the marketplace about the ‘low-lignin’ claims made regarding Hi-Gest alfalfa, what it can accomplish in the field and how it compares to HarvXtra alfalfa,” said Shawn Barnett, president, FGI, a leading global forage technology company. “Farmers should expect accuracy from seed companies. Factual information allows them to make informed decisions regarding their alfalfa seed choices and management practices.”
In addition to the lignin content claims, the suit alleges that Alforex highlights a potential for delayed harvest that research does not support and that it misleadingly implies that alfalfa grown from Hi-Gest seed promotes easier digestion and enhanced performance for livestock.
Source: Forage Genetics International