For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: September 15, 2010

Vitamin Antitrust Settlement to Provide Food for Hungry Idahoans

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today delivered more than $100,000 to provide food assistance throughout Idaho. The funds are part of a previously announced legal settlement of an antitrust case involving price-fixing by a group of vitamin manufacturers.

During a news conference this morning, Wasden presented a check for $134,179.81 to Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank.

“As we are all too well aware, times have been hard in America and in Idaho. Many families are without work and struggling to keep their homes and put food on the table,” Attorney General Wasden said. “The Idaho Foodbank is the largest distributor of free emergency food in Idaho and will ensure that the benefits of this settlement reach Idahoans throughout the state.”

“As the largest provider of free emergency food in the state, The Foodbank serves on average 119,000 Idahoans every month through a network of 220 partner agencies,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. “That translates into 8.9 million pounds of food distributed last year - enough for 6.9 million meals. We anticipate this year the need will increase by at least a million pounds or 78,000 meals. These settlement funds will provide badly needed services and nutritious food to families, children and senior citizens in our effort to end hunger in Idaho.”

The Idaho Foodbank has warehouses in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello and partners with a network of more than 200 agencies statewide. In addition, the Foodbank will forward 15% of this settlement to Second Harvest in Spokane, Washington, which will use the money to distribute food in Idaho’s five northern counties.

Given the extraordinarily large number of individual consumers affected, the court approved Attorney General Wasden’s plan to distribute the consumer portion of the settlement to The Idaho Foodbank to address nutrition and health matters.

Additional information is available on the Attorney General’s website.

The companies that are parties to the settlement are: Akzo Nobel, Inc.; Bioproducts Incorporated, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.; Chinook Global Limited and Chinook Group, Inc.; Evonik Degussa GmbH, successor to Degussa AG and Evonik Degussa Corporation; Lonza AG; Merck KGaA, E. Merck and EM Industries, Inc.; Nepera, Inc.; Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc. and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.; Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Tanabe U.S.A., Inc.; UCB Pharma, Inc.; and, Vertellus Specialties Inc. and Vertellus Chemicals SA.

Listen as Attorney General Wasden discusses why The Idaho Foodbank was selected to receive the money from the settlement:

Listen to Attorney General Wasden comments on the importance of antitrust laws:

Listen to Attorney General Wasden comments on the vitamin price-fixing case:

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