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Leaders out at Mo. soybean group

Kevin Dooley
Almost all American soybeans are grown from genetically modified seeds, which are generally banned in Europe.

Two longtime leaders of the Missouri Soybean Association are out of jobs as part of a shakeup at the prominent agricultural group.

The changes come after an audit of how the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council managed millions of dollars collected annually from farmers for marketing and research on soybeans.

Longtime Executive Director Dale Ludwig and Field Services Manager J.P. Dunn both resigned under pressure Dec. 19. They deny any wrongdoing.

Ludwig told The Associated Press that concerns were raised during the auditing process about using merchandising funds for research at private companies and for university laboratory equipment. He said it also was suggested that he had a conflict of interest for investing in biodiesel facilities that make soy-based fuel.

Soybean organization board members declined to release the audit.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.