$218M Awarded in Damages in First Syngenta GMO Corn Class Action Lawsuit

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Santa Clara, CA: A $217.7 million settlement has been awarded by jurors hearing the first of eight certified class action lawsuits against Syngenta alleging unfair business practices. The jurors found Syngenta negligent after deliberating for just half a day, awarding compensation to more than 7,000 farmers in Kansas.

The multidistrict litigation (MDL) claims economic damages resulting from rejection of US corn containing MIR162, Viptera by the Chinese in 2013.

The trial began June 5, and heard testimony from four Kansas farmers who alleged that Syngenta AG rushed its genetically modified pest-resistant Viptera corn seed to market in 2010. They stated that Syngenta willfully ignored the importance of Chinese regulatory approval. The lawsuits further claim that different varieties of harvested corn are mixed together indiscriminately during export. In November 2013, when China discovered the rogue strain of corn, it immediately rejected US corn cargos, which negatively impacted all growers, the farmers claimed.

Syngenta plans to appeal the verdict.

The case is In Re Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation, case number 2:14-md-02591, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

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