Archer Daniels Midland and Syngenta, two giants of industrial agriculture, have settled lawsuits over the release of a new biotech corn strain that upended US grain exports to China.
ADM, an international grain dealer, had accused Swiss-based seed company Syngenta of negligence when it introduced two new varieties of genetically modified corn to US farmers.
The strains had not yet been approved by authorities in China and in 2013 were turned away by inspectors in Beijing, costing the grain-trading industry tens of millions of dollars.
Syngenta was also sued by farmers and Cargill, an ADM competitor. The farmers reached a $1.5bn settlement with Syngenta last September. The Cargill case is set for trial this September, Syngenta said.
An annual report ADM filed late Friday revealed it reached confidential settlements with Syngenta in December.
Syngenta also confirmed the settlement with ADM. “Syngenta is continuing to defend against the claims of other exporters, and continues to believe that American farmers should have access to the latest US-approved technologies to help them increase their productivity and crop yield,” it added.
Syngenta now has a Chinese owner: it was acquired last year by state-owned ChemChina.
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