Bayer set to pay $750 million for GM-rice
Monheim - It's nearly Christmas, and Bayer Crop Science gives out some presents. As the company announced, a $750 million settlement with U.S. rice farmers is now binding and can move forward. In summer the German firm had agreed to the sum, five years after it inadvertently introduced a strain of genetically altered long-grain rice into the U.S. market. The only condition was that farmers representing 85 percent of rice acreage involved would have to register. That threshold has now been met.
"Although Bayer CropScience believes it acted responsibly in the handling of its biotech rice, the company considered it important to resolve the litigation so that it can move forward focused on its fundamental mission of providing innovative solutions to modern agriculture," spokesman Greg Coffey said in a statement.
In 2006 Bayer CropScience and a Louisiana State University facility in Crowley were testing a strain of the rice for resistance to Bayer's Liberty-brand herbicide. The genetically modified variety cross-bred with and “contaminated” more than 30 percent of U.S. rice lands, Don Downing, lawyer for the farmers, said at the first trial in November 2009.