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Times Staff and Wire Reports

General Mills Proposes $10-Million Cereal Giveaway: The company said it plans to give away breakfast cereal to settle a class-action lawsuit stemming from its unwitting use of pesticide-tainted oats. The company would also pay another $1.75 million to cover lawyers fees for the consumers group that sued it. The proposal was made jointly by General Mills Inc., the nation's second-largest cereal maker, and attorneys for the plaintiffs, company spokesman Austin Sullivan said. If the settlement is approved, the Minneapolis-based company will take out newspaper advertisements nationwide that provide certificates that consumers will be able to mail in with cereal box bar codes to receive free boxes of cereal.

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