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Friday, July 14, 2000

Judge dismisses
petition claiming unfair
papaya-seed distribution

Star-Bulletin staff


HILO -- A federal administrative judge has dismissed claims that genetically engineered papaya seeds were distributed to growers in an unfair fashion.

In January, several growers including Ernesto Tagalicud, Rogelio Domingo, and Michael Durkan filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture saying they were penalized for failing to support the current management of the Papaya Administrative Committee, a federally created regulatory agency.

Delan "Rusty" Perry and William Julian, who did support the management, got the seeds months ahead of the others, the petition said.

In a dismissal of the accusations this week, Administrative Law Judge Dorothea A. Baker in Washington said the distribution of the seeds was done by the state, over which Papaya Administrative Committee has no control.

Cathy Julian, William's wife, said all growers had access to the seeds, but some, including the petitioners, refused to sign contracts to receive them.

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