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Sat Jun 24, 2017, 01:13 AM

Kansas jury awards $218M to farmers in Syngenta GMO suit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) A Kansas federal jury awarded nearly $218 million today to farmers who sued Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed variety.

Syngenta vowed to appeal the verdict favoring four Kansas farmers representing roughly 7,300 growers from that state in what served as the first test case of tens of thousands of U.S. lawsuits assailing Syngenta's decision to introduce its Viptera seed strain to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports.

The Kansas trial and a Minnesota one next month involving about 60,000 cases are to serve as bellwether trials, providing guidance for how the complex web of litigation in state and federal courts could be resolved. Attorneys can see how juries react and determine whether to settle other cases or take them to trial.

"This is only the beginning," the Kansas farmers' attorneys said in a statement, calling Friday's verdict "great news" for Kansas and U.S. corn growers. "We look forward to pursuing justice for thousands more corn farmers in the months ahead."

Read more: http://www.vindy.com/news/2017/jun/23/kansas-jury-awards-218m-farmers-syngenta-gmo-suit/?nw

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