MEMPHIS –– The president of Stine Seed Company said allegations made against his company by the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (BFAA) are categorically untrue.
“The lawsuit against Stine Seed Company by this very small group of growers is without merit and factually unsupportable,” Myron Stine said in a press statement. “Stine takes seriously any allegations of unlawful, improper or discriminatory conduct and is disturbed by the baseless allegations leveled against the company."
Stine filed a motion to dismiss the complaint June 10.
The seed company's 34-page motion claims the farmers have not stated a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Stine Seed Company and the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association will meet in court on Aug. 2.
“Plaintiffs’ complaint levels inflammatory accusations — devoid of any specific facts — that the Stine defendants engaged in an elaborate racketeering scheme to defraud plaintiffs solely because plaintiffs are African-American," attorneys for the seed company wrote in the motion.
The seed company added that the lawsuit "does not contain a single allegation of fact that any of the Stine Defendants engaged in any such discriminatory, hateful and improper conduct.”
However, BFAA President Thomas Burrell claims Stine employees purposefully swapped out certified soybean seeds and sold bogus seeds to black farmers, who paid up to $200K to purchase and treat with chemicals to no avail. The BFAA had the deficient seeds analyzed at the University of Missouri and allegedly discovered they were not the Stine-manufactured seeds they had paid for.
Again, Stine denies all allegations.
“Upon learning of these claims, the company took swift action to conduct an internal investigation, which has not revealed any evidence that would support these allegations,” Stine said in a statement.