Q&A: Syngenta Settlement

Q&A: Syngenta Settlement

Dave Aiken, Nebraska Extension water and agricultural law specialist, recently spoke about the Syngenta settlement on Market Journal.

On September 26, a $1.4 billion settlement was announced in the lawsuit against Syngenta AG over lost revenue due to China rejecting corn shipments containing unapproved Syngenta varieties. The settlement could affect all US corn producers who priced corn after November 18, 2013 and who did not purchase Viptera or Duracade corn seed, the Syngenta GMO seeds at issue. This includes corn farmers who have not signed up to participate in the Syngenta lawsuit and those who did not opt out of it.

What does that mean to farmers? I estimate they'll receive 5-7 cents per bushel, after attorney fees and other litigation expenses are paid. The $1.4 billion would be around 14 cents/bushel.

What farmers will receive settlement payments? Basically all the farmers who received a letter about the lawsuit giving them the option to opt out of the lawsuit. Those who did not take steps to leave the lawsuit, should receive a check.

When will the settlement checks go out? It's hard to say. The settlement has to be approved by a federal judge in Kansas. And farmers may need to prove how many bushels of corn they priced after China began rejecting US corn shipments. It could be by the end of the year or early next year.  

What if I signed up with a specific lawfirm to sue Syngenta? You should be hearing from them directly if you haven’t already. You can contact them if you don’t hear from them soon.

See related story by the author: Kansas Federal Jury Awards $218 Million in Syngenta Litigation.