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A Kansas City jury ordered Syngenta to pay $217.7 million to more than 7,000 Kansas farmers today. We wrote earlier about the corn farmers claims against Syngenta.

In November 2013, China detected genetically modified traits in U.S. corn shipments. Because China had not approved the genetically modified trait, it halted U.S. corn imports. The following month, the Chinese government issued a warning notification strengthening the inspection and supervision of the import of genetically modified feed materials. This notification required the testing of all batches of U.S. corn and ruled that any cargo that tested positive for the unapproved trait would be returned or destroyed. This testing caused some Chinese customers to refuse to honor contracts to purchase corn and injected a great deal of uncertainty into the market. Following China’s decision in November 2013, U.S. imports to China have dropped by nearly 85% and corn prices have fallen considerably as a result.

In the first trial complaining about Syngenta’s actions, the Kansas City jury awarded $217.7 million to more than 7,000 Kansas farmers today.  This is obviously a positive first step in farmers’ recovery against Syngenta.

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