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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 07, 2001
AG Seeking Applicants to Share in $5.7 million Vitamins Settlement


Seattle - June 7, 2001- The Attorney General's office is seeking applications from organizations that would use last year's $5.7 million settlement with vitamin companies for health and nutrition programs or to advance nutritional, dietary or agricultural science.

The money is Washington's share of the October settlement of a multistate lawsuit against six companies that were accused of illegally conspiring to raise the price of vitamins bought by consumers and the price of vitamin products used in the manufacture of many food products.

"Because of this conspiracy, consumers paid more than they should have for nearly every grocery item in their shopping carts," Attorney General Christine Gregoire said. "This distribution is the best way to ensure that as many Washington consumers as possible share in this settlement."

Awards will be announced in the late fall of 2001 and, if approved by the court, should be funded by early 2002. A distribution committee comprised of community and business leaders throughout the state will judge all applications.

Organizations and agencies needing more information can visit the Vitamins information page at the AGO website. Those interested in applying for the funds should either fill out and submit the online application form or print out the form and submit it by regular mail to the: Washington State Attorney General's Antitrust Division, 900 Fourth Ave., Suite 2000, Seattle, WA 98164-1012. Attn: Vitamins Settlement coordinator.

Deadline for applications is July 31, 2001.

In the case settlement, the six settling companies -- F Hoffman-LaRoche; Takeda; Eisai Co., Ltd.; BASF; Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co. and Aventis -- agreed to pay about $214 million nationally.

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