SLATER, IA: Garst Seed, the subject of a biotech controversy during
last year's Kraft taco shell recall, has reorganized its marketing and
sales operations, switching responsibility for PR in the process.
Jeff Lacina, Garst PR manager, will now report to the new marketing
manager, Lori Thomas, a 14-year company veteran. Lacina had previously
reported to the company's marketing communications manager - a role that
has been phased out.
The incumbent in that role, Mike Smidt, has been named national sales
manager. Steve Klein, marketing manager since June 2000, has been named
director of sales and marketing.
Lacina said the new structure will involve more senior managers in
company communications and marketing efforts. Lacina will remain the
primary media contact.
Garst received extensive media attention last year when Starlink corn, a
line it markets for use in animal feed, found its way into taco shells
by Kraft Foods. The corn had not been approved for human consumption, so
the company recalled the product. The incident triggered a national
debate about biotech foods.