It was announced on September 26, 2017, that Syngenta agreed to settle claims brought against it by U.S. farmers on account of its allegely premature marketing of Viptera and Duracade GMO corn. These claims include those in the Syngenta MIR 162 Corn Litigation, as well as those in the class action in Minnesota state court. The initial settlement agreement was reached in the middle of a multi-week trial occurring in Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota. This trial involved more than 20,000 Minnesota farmers seeking $400 million in damages. In June, a jury awarded Kansas farmers $217.7 million in damages against Syngenta. Syngenta was appealing the award, and additional trials were scheduled.
The details of the settlement have not been released, but news agencies are reporting that Syngenta has agreed to pay $1.5 billion. Details, including the process for filing claims, are yet to be finalized. The court will also have to approve settlement of the class claims.
A Syngenta press release states:
The settlement, which is subject to court approval, would establish a settlement fund for the submission of claims by eligible claimants who contracted to price corn or corn by-products after September 15, 2013. Information concerning the settlement fund, claims process, and other details will become available after the parties execute and submit the proposed settlement agreement and other papers to the court later this year.
In any event, eligible farmers should not expect checks anytime soon. The settlement does not impact the claims brought against Syngenta by Cargill and ADM.
We will keep you posted!
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