How does the previous GMO rice lawsuit against Bayer relate to this GMO corn lawsuit against Syngenta?

  • Watts Guerra LLP negotiated the first of two Settlement Agreements with Bayer Crop Sciences, which resulted in the settlement in the amount of $750 million of U.S. rice farmers’ claims in the GMO Rice Case against Bayer for its destruction of the 2006-2009 U.S. rice corn export market.
  • The very public announcement of Bayer’s agreement to pay U.S. rice farmers $750 million for its actions causing the implosion of the American rice export market stands as notice to the industry, and to Syngenta specifically, that it must use due care in introducing new GMO strains. Syngenta failed this test with respect to its introduction of GMO corn.
  • Many federal and state court rulings concerning legal motions in the GMO Rice case were adjudicated in favor of the farmers, and consequently, have provided valuable published legal precedent that will be cited to judges in this GMO Corn Case against Syngenta.
  • Similar facts, and the same lawyers and experts, from the GMO Rice case are involved here in the GMO Corn case against Syngenta. As a result, we are very confident that the end result will be against Syngenta, and in favor of the U.S. corn farmer.

The previous GMO Rice lawsuit involved the claims of 11,000 U.S. rice farmers against Bayer Crop Sciences, L.P., for its negligent introduction of a non-approved strain of GMO rice into the U.S., which resulted in the implosion of the U.S. rice export market from 2006-2010. Watts Guerra LLP negotiated the first of two Settlement Agreements with Bayer Crop Sciences, which resulted in the settlement of the nation’s rice farmers’ claims in the GMO Rice Case against Bayer’s for its destruction of the 2006-2009 U.S. rice corn export market in the amount of $750 million.

The settlement was huge news in the U.S. agricultural community, and sent an important message to multi-national seed suppliers like Syngenta that they needed to use due care in introducing new GMO strains into the U.S. market. It is shocking that Syngenta failed to heed the lessons that the lawsuit against Bayer taught. Instead, Syngenta chose to take a risk on the backs of U.S. corn farmers by prematurely introducing its GMO corn strain known as MIR 162 without advanced approval from our corn export partners, and without implementing the reasonable stewardship programs it promised the U.S. Government it would oversee in order to prevent Syngenta’s unapproved corn seed from submarining the entire U.S. corn export market. Syngenta’s actions here, especially in light of the notice provided previously by the settlement with Bayer, will likely give rise to punitive damages against Syngenta in this case.

Moreover, during the GMO Rice lawsuit, Bayer unsuccessfully filed numerous legal motions, which were soundly rejected by judges in both federal and state courts. These decisions in the GMO Rice cases were published, and therefore constitute legal precedent to be followed by the courts in this case under the legal doctrine known as stare decisis.

Similar facts, and the same lawyers and experts, from the GMO Rice case are involved here in the GMO Corn case against Syngenta. As a result, we are very confident that the result in this litigation will be against Syngenta, and in favor of the U.S. corn farmer.

In summary, the previous GMO Rice lawsuit against Bayer will prove invaluable for farmers, grain elevators and corn exporters filing suit here against Syngenta.

Written by*:
Mikal C. Watts
WATTS GUERRA, LLP
Four Dominion Drive, Bldg. Three, Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78257

* This information is provided to supply relevant information concerning the GMO corn lawsuit, and should not be received as legal advice. Legal advice is only given to persons or entities with whom Watts Guerra LLP has established an attorney-client relationship. If you have another lawyer in the GMO Corn lawsuit, you should consult with your own attorney, and rely upon his or her advice, rather than the information contained herein.

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