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 Chinese corn market and caused price drops for several years.
The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge in Kansas, 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.
This settlement does not include the exporters Cargill and ADM. Syngenta has reached a settlement with ADM, the terms of which were not disclosed. The trial for a similar lawsuit by Cargill is scheduled for December.
More settlement details will be made available at: www.syngentacornlitigation.com.