clear
Monday June 25th, 2018 7:36AM

$1.5B settlement in suit over Syngenta modified corn seed

By The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A $1.5 billion settlement was reached in a class-action lawsuit covering tens of thousands of farmers, grain-handling facilities and ethanol plants that sued Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed.

Lawsuits in state and federal courts challenged Syngenta's decision to introduce its modified Viptera and Duracade corn seed strains to the U.S. market for the 2011 growing season before having approval for import by China in 2014. The plaintiffs said Syngenta's decision cut off access to the large Chinese corn market and caused price drops for several years.

The settlement, reached Monday, must be approved by a federal judge in Kansas. It will create a fund to pay claims by farmers and others who contracted to price corn or corn byproducts after Sept. 15, 2013. If approved, money could be distributed to class members in the first half of 2019.

The settlement does not include the exporters Cargill and ADM that are also suing Syngenta.

Four lawyers who led the litigation for corn producers said in a joint statement Monday that the settlement is believed to be the largest agricultural litigation settlement in U.S. history.

"America's corn farmers and related businesses were hurt economically and this settlement will provide fair compensation for their damages," the attorneys said. "It is an equitable result for all involved."

The preliminary settlement did not "constitute an admission by either side concerning merits of the parties' allegations and defenses," Syngenta spokesman Paul Minehart said in a statement.

The agribusiness giant contended that corn prices dropped because of market forces, not China's rejection of Viptera. Most of the farmers suing Syngenta didn't grow Viptera or Duracade, but China rejected millions of tons of their grain because elevators and shippers mix grain from several suppliers, making it impossible to find corn free of the trait.

Syngenta invested more than $100 million and 15 years in developing Viptera, which has a trait called MIR162 that protects against pests such as earworms, cutworms, armyworms and corn borers. Duracade, a newer variety, added protection against corn rootworm.

The company continued to defend the traits Monday, saying Viptera and Duracade provided a way to combat several pests and noting that the strains were "fully approved by all U.S. regulatory authorities at the time of their launch."

In June of 2017, a federal grand jury in Kansas awarded nearly $218 million to about 7,300 growers who sued Syngenta over the corn modifications. Plaintiffs' experts in that trial estimated the economic damage was about $5 billion. Another trial was in progress in state court in Minnesota in September when a preliminary settlement was reached.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Previously withheld UCLA video shows heckling of Mnuchin
UCLA has released previously withheld video showing the near-constant heckling of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a moderated talk about the economy
1:25AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Texas bombs likely connected; no obvious links among sites
Three package bombs left on doorsteps in suburban neighborhoods have exploded in less than two weeks in Texas' capital city, killing two people and wounding two others
1:25AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Military reviews rules for helmet cams after Niger attack
U.S. military leaders are weighing stricter guidelines for helmet cameras on the battlefield after Islamic State-linked fighters in Niger exploited footage taken by a fallen American soldier to make a propaganda video
1:14AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Governor offers $15K reward for mail bomb info
The Texas governor's office is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the deadly package blasts in Austin over the past 10 days
12:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
49 dead from plane that crashed while landing in Nepal
Nepal officials say the plane crash at Kathmandu's airport a day earlier killed 49 people among the 71 on board; government orders investigation into cause of the crash
12:02AM ( 1 hour ago )
2 fertility clinics respond to egg, embryo storage failures
2 fertility clinics in Ohio, California respond to failures that may have damaged eggs, embryos
10:28PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
No term limits could give Xi more sway on Hong Kong, Taiwan
Allowing Xi Jinping to remain president indefinitely puts him on track to deal with some of China's weightiest long-term sovereignty challenges, especially the fates of Hong Kong and Taiwan
8:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
Amid Trump visit, it's business as usual for border towns
As Donald Trump visits the U.S.-Mexico border, the daily commute from Mexico to California farms is a reminder of how little has changed despite heated rhetoric in Washington
7:11PM ( 6 hours ago )
Senate bill would diminish mortgage disclosures by banks
Buried within new Senate legislation to roll back restraints on banks is a provision that would exempt an estimated 85 percent of all U.S. banks and credit unions from public reporting requirements
7:06PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Ag Department kills animal welfare rule for organic meat
The Trump administration is withdrawing a federal rule that would have required organic meat and egg producers to abide by stricter animal welfare standards
7:17PM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump: 'Steel and business' at stake in House election
President Donald Trump is invoking "steel and business" as he and his son make a final push to sway Pennsylvania voters in a special House election.
1:05PM ( 12 hours ago )
In tight House race, Republican leans on Trump and his base
President Donald Trump is invoking "steel and business" as he and his son make a final push to sway voters in a special election for a Pennsylvania House seat.
12:14PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Fishermen of baby eels expect high price as stocks dry up
Members of Maine's baby eel fishing industry are expecting high prices for the fish this year because of a lack of the eels on the international market
10:10AM ( 1 day ago )
What swamp? Lobbyists get ethics waivers to work for Trump
Lobbyists and corporate lawyers thrive in Trump administration, despite pledges to drain the swamp
6:19PM ( 4 days ago )
Fishing industry in Thailand fixing some abuses, agency says
Thailand's fishing and seafood industry has made some improvement in working conditions, including less physical violence, but problems such as unfair pay and deception in contracting persist, a survey of workers found
9:11PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Democrat seeks coal-country help in Pa. House election
Democrat Conor Lamb is asking Pennsylvania's coal country for help in the first congressional election of 2018, viewed as a key test of support for Republicans ahead of November's midterms
7:47PM ( 1 day ago )
Japan marks 7th anniversary of tsunami that killed 18,000
Japanese in Tokyo and along the northeast coast are marking the seventh anniversary of the 2011 tsunami that took more than 18,000 lives and triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant
9:59AM ( 1 day ago )
French president pokes at Trump for leaving Paris accord
French President Emmanuel Macron has taken a jibe at President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement
7:23AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Texas bombs likely connected; no obvious links among sites
Three package bombs left on doorsteps in suburban neighborhoods have exploded in less than two weeks in Texas' capital city, killing two people and wounding two others
1:21AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Military reviews rules for helmet cams after Niger attack
U.S. military leaders are weighing stricter guidelines for helmet cameras on the battlefield after Islamic State-linked fighters in Niger exploited footage taken by a fallen American soldier to make a propaganda video
1:14AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Previously withheld UCLA video shows heckling of Mnuchin
UCLA has released previously withheld video showing the near-constant heckling of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a moderated talk about the economy
1:10AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Japan calls for North Korean steps toward denuclearization
Japan's leader is calling on North Korea to take concrete steps toward denuclearization
1:03AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Asia shares mixed on trade outlook, tighter China oversight
Asian shares mixed on uncertainty over trade, China regulatory revamp
12:58AM ( 30 minutes ago )