U.S. District Court Judge John W. Lungstrum recently approved Syngenta’s $1.51 billion settlement regarding MIR162—Agrisure Viptera. This settlement ends years of litigation between farmers and the company.
“We are delighted that the settlement has been approved,” plaintiff co-leads said in an issued statement. “Under the settlement agreement, it is possible that payments could begin as early as the second quarter 2019, but appeals could delay those payments.”
Funds will be distributed to hundreds of thousands of farmers, ethanol plants and other eligible recipients who sold corn priced after Sept. 15, 2013. The deadline to file for the claim was earlier this year. Those who filed could soon see a check hit their mailbox.
Syngenta representatives provided the following statement to AgWeb”
“Syngenta is pleased that the Court presiding over litigation by U.S. corn farmers, grain handling facilities, and ethanol plants concerning the launch of Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade has granted final approval to the settlement. Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade demonstrate significant, scientifically validated benefits for growers in combatting a wide spectrum of pests. Syngenta launched these products to help ensure that American farmers could access the latest seed technology approved in the U.S. and to help farmers increase their productivity and crop yield. With this litigation resolved, Syngenta will continue its focus on agricultural innovation, and continues to believe that American farmers should have access to the latest U.S.-approved technologies to help them increase their productivity and crop yield.”
For background, the case examined the claim by some corn farmers that said they suffered losses after China rejected U.S. corn exports in 2013 due to the presence of Viptera prior to Chinese approval. Plaintiffs say the rejection interrupted trade and lowered commodity prices, costing farmers as much as $3 billion. Syngenta says it didn't need approval from China before releasing Viptera since the company had U.S. approval.