April 17, 2017 11:57 AM

Complaint alleges false advertising of Hi-Gest® seeds

This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.

Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI), a leading global forage technology company, filed suit today in U.S. District Court against Alforex Seeds, LLC, 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. “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.

About Forage Genetics International
For the past 25 years, Forage Genetics International (www.foragegenetics.com) has led the forage industry with innovative genetic discoveries, variety developments and cutting-edge product introductions. Our relentless drive for improved forage production is behind our unprecedented advancements. As the industry’s leading provider of forage solutions, we breed, develop and produce premier alfalfa seed. Our highly experienced staff delivers packaging, distribution and training services to complement our premium product offerings — all customized to meet the varied needs of our customers.