Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Bayer to pay $750 Million to End Lawsuits Over Genetically Engineered Rice

According to Bloomberg, Bayer AG agreed to a $750 million settlement to resolve claims with about 11,000 U.S. farmers who said a strain of the company's genetically modified rice tainted crops and ruined their export value. The settlement ends scores of lawsuits filed against the Bayer CropScience unit by farmers in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

In August 2006 the USDA said that trace amounts of the company's experimental LibertyLink strain were found in U.S. long-grain rice. Within four days, declining rice futures cost U.S. growers about $150 million, according to a complaint filed by the farmers.

The official Bayer CropScience statemen states in part, "Although Bayer CropScience believes it acted responsibly in the handling of its biotech rice, the company considers it important to resolve the litigation so that it can move forward focused on its fundamental mission of providing innovative solutions to modern agriculture."

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