Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta says it will appeal a Kansas federal jury’s awarding of nearly $218 million to Kansas farmers who sued the company over its introduction of a genetically modified corn seed variety.
Syngenta says in a statement that it is “disappointed” by Friday’s verdict after a three-week trial in Kansas City, Kansas. That case involves four Kansas farmers representing more than 7,000 growers in the state. Another trial involving about 60,000 cases begins next month in Minnesota.
The lawsuits allege Syngenta introduced the seed variety to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports, wrecking an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn and causing price drops.
The Kansas trial was the first test case. It and the Minnesota trial will provide guidance for how the complex web of litigation in state and federal courts could be resolved