Syngenta Settles MIR162 Case for $1.51 Billion

March 12, 2018 05:01 PM
 
In a nationwide class action, Syngenta will pay a $1.51 billion settlement to U.S. corn farmers, grain handling facilities and ethanol plants. The settlement covers corn priced after September 15, 2013.

In a nationwide class action, Syngenta will pay a $1.51 billion settlement to U.S. corn farmers, grain handling facilities and ethanol plants. The settlement covers corn priced after September 15, 2013.

All farmers are eligible for the settlement, including those who might have opted out of previous Syngenta lawsuits. When funds are available farmers must submit a claim form to collect—notices will likely be mailed and farmers will need to submit forms, opt out or object to agreement terms.

This settlement comes after years of litigation. Plaintiffs alleged Syngenta’s introduction of MIR162, Agrisure Viptera, corn before it was approved in China lead to loss of income. Chinese ports rejected loads of corn that tested positive for the trait.

“We are very pleased with this outcome,” said the plaintiff’s counsel in a joint statement. “America’s corn farmers and related businesses were hurt economically and this settlement will provide fair compensation for their damages. It is an equitable result for all involved.”

After claims are submitted, U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum in the District of Kansas will decide whether or not to officially approve of the $1.51 billion settlement. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they expect funds to be distributed as early as the first half of 2019.

 “This settlement does not constitute and admission by either side concerning the merits of the parties’ allegations and defenses,” said Syngenta in a statement provided to AgWeb. “With this litigation largely resolved, Syngenta will continue its focus on agricultural innovation, and continues to believe that the American farmers should have access to the latest U.S.-approved technologies to help them increase their productivity and crop yield.”

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Comments

 
Spell Check

Gregory A. Cade
Birmingham, AL
3/20/2018 05:11 PM
 

  This is without a doubt the largest agricultural class action settlement in the history of the U.S. As a lawyer specialized in environmental cases and industrial hygienist, I could not be more satisfied with the outcome and I sincerely applaud the endeavors of my peers, who strived to obtain the maximum settlement possible for the corn farmers and businesses injured by the unethical behavior of Syngenta. I hope everyone will recover just compensation for their loss, which you can easily do by filing a claim with the trust fund the company is to establish in the near future. While the process is relatively simple, the aid of a lawyer is highly recommended, as they can attend to every complex and time-consuming matter for you, therefore allowing you to focus on more important aspects in the meantime. I do not know if you are aware, but this is not the first wrongdoing on the part of Syngenta. In 2014, a similar incident took place. The company negligently launched Duracade, a corn rootworm control product, in the U.S. without having priorly received approval from China, although they had known authorization was required. This naturally led to financial losses of up to $3.5 billion. It was only in 2017 that China approved the employment of Duracade. Shamefully, the company still insists that they are not at fault, blaming factors such as unfavorable weather and exports to other countries for the serious decrease in corn prices throughout the U.S. while Agrisure Vipterain was being used.

 
 

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