Syngenta to Settle Viptera Related Lawsuits

Jacob Bunge reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Syngenta said it would settle thousands of lawsuits from U.S. farmers who alleged the Swiss agricultural giant’s launch of genetically engineered corn seeds cost them money.

“Syngenta introduced a new variety of pest-resistant corn, called Agrisure Viptera, in 2011. The strain hadn’t been approved by authorities in China, which in 2013 began rejecting U.S. corn shipments found to contain the Syngenta genes. U.S. farmers allege that the market for U.S. corn shrank as a result, weighing on prices and their incomes.

“Syngenta said Tuesday that its proposed settlement with the farmers would ‘avoid the uncertainty of ongoing litigation.’ A Syngenta spokesman said it was too early to comment on the size of any settlement fund. Syngenta isn’t admitting to the plaintiffs’ charges. The agreement still requires court approval.”

Mr. Bunge also noted that, “Lawyers for the farmers said they looked forward to proposing a final settlement agreement over the next several weeks.”

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