ARCHER DANIELS FIRES EXECUTIVE WHO INFORMED

ARCHER DANIELS FIRES EXECUTIVE WHO INFORMED

Archer Daniels Midland Co. has fired Mark Whitacre, the president of its BioProducts Division, who acted as a federal informant in an antitrust probe of the food additives industry, sources close to the company said Monday.

Mr. Whitacre's dismissal was effective Monday, the sources said.Mr. Whitacre has acknowledged acting as a federal informant for about three years. According to reports, he supplied information about alleged price-fixing and other potential antitrust violations.

The Justice Department is investigating agribusiness giants Archer

Daniels, Cargill Inc., A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co. and CPC International Inc.

The probe centers on allegations of price-fixing in the high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid and lysine industries.

Mr. Whitacre's attorney, James Epstein of the Chicago law firm Epstein, Zaideman & Esrig, did not return calls seeking comment.

However, in a July 23 statement, Mr. Epstein said he fully expected Archer Daniels "to invent some pretext to fire Mark (Whitacre)."

Mr. Whitacre claimed he was banned from company facilities.

Archer Daniels stock was unchanged at $16.215 on the New York Stock Exchange in afternoon trading.