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Bob Larson Cosmic Crisp & Phytelligence Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: March 29, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The suit-countersuit battle over the sale of Cosmic Crisp apple trees is a family affair. Phytelligence, the agricultural biotechnology company founded at Washington State University, is at odds with school over its claim Phytelligence sold 135,000 trees to Evans Fruit without a license to do so …

HUNT … “We said, yeah we need to get going on that root stock, and so we did. And I said, given our relationship with Washington State University let me reach out, let me get going on getting the license going. And then, by the time we get that going, then we would be able to bud the Cosmic Crisp buds to that root stock and we’d be off to the races.”

But, Phytelligence CEO Ken Hunt says things didn’t quite as planned …

HUNT … “When the time kept going and it appeared to us that we weren’t going to get the license in time, we said to Evans, hey we don’t have the license so we can’t sell you Cosmic Crisp. We can’t bud Cosmic Crisp buds to root stock so you’ve got a couple of options.”

Hunt says the company felt the options were above board …

HUNT … “We can refund your money for that root stock or we can bud some other variety to that root stock. And they said, we’d rather you refund the money, so that’s what we did. So, we didn’t, there are no 135,000 Cosmic Crisp trees that exist anywhere. No grafting ever took place.”

Hunt says they’ve held on to the bud wood in the event a license does come through and they can move forward with this or another sale, but WSU wants it disposed of.

More on this strained relationship tomorrow.

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