Syngenta has announced a settlement with farmers who sued the company following the release of Agrisure Viptera and Duracade MIR 162 corn traits. They claimed Syngenta sold corn with the trait prior to receiving China import approval and they rejected the corn, which led to lower prices. The settlement would create a fund reportedly worth about $1.5 billion in which eligible claimants can collect damages. South Dakota Corn Growers Association President Troy Knecht says there were no real winners in the case:
The number of growers who will benefit from the settlement fund has yet to be determined. However, Knecht sees a fairly modest payout per farmer:
The settlement fund would also allow both sides to avoid the uncertainty and cost of ongoing litigation. Knecht is pleased this will put an end to the lawsuit and the industry can move on, having learned some valuable lessons:
In June, a jury in Kansas District Court awarded farmers nearly $218 million in compensatory damages in a lawsuit filed by four Kansas farmers who represent more than 7,000 farmers in the state. It was the first of multiple lawsuits in multiple states. However, the case was expanded to a class action.