Doug Barrett | Sep 27, 2017 AT 8:18 am
Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta says it has agreed to settle tens of thousands of U.S. lawsuits by farmers over the company's rollout of a genetically engineered corn seed variety before China approved it for imports.
Terms weren't disclosed. Syngenta said in a statement that the settlement would establish a fund to pay claims by farmers and others who contracted to price corn or corn byproducts after Sept. 14, 2013. Details will be announced after the agreement is submitted for court approval later this year, it said.
Syngenta began selling Viptera to U.S. farmers for the 2011 growing season with U.S. government approval. But China didn't approve it until December 2014. The dispute escalated into lawsuits on behalf of tens of thousands of farmers in state and federal courts alleging that Syngenta's move wrecked China as an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn and resulted in price drops that hurt all producers.