Bayer Genetic Rice Lawsuit Bayer Settles Genetic Engineered Rice Lawsuit for US $ 750 Millions

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Bayer settles lawsuit with with US-farmers for US $ 750 millions. Despite these drastic consequences, Bayer claims to have acted responsible.

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(Picture: Bayer)
(Picture: Bayer)

Monheim/Germany – Bayer Crop Science, a subsidiary of German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, agreed to pay US $750 millions to farmers in several Midwestern States. This decision settles a lawsuit over the contamination of US rice crops with genetic engineered rice in 2006.

LibertyLink, a type of genetically modified rice, that was at that time not approved for human consumption, was discovered in the US rice supply in 2006. The plant with a genetic herbicide resistance had been used in field tests by Aventis Crop Science, a company that was later bought up by Bayer. As a consequence, both the European Union and Japan banned the import of rice from the United States.

Genetic Rice Lawsuit is Legacy of Aventis, Bayer Says

Although company officials claim this problem to be merely a legacy of Aventis Crop Science, Bayer has similar products in its portfolio. The company states to have acted responsibly both now and in the past. Nevertheless, officials admit that the US $ 750 million costs are a heavy burden for Bayer (Bayer Crop Science's business volume in 2010 was EUR 6.83 billion - about US $ 9 billion).

Accusations that the release of LibertyLink was wilful and intentionally are, nevertheless, "regarded as absurd", a Bayer spokesman says.

Bayer Continues Development of Genetic Engineered Seeds

Despite this lawsuit, the German based agrochemicals company continues its development of genetically modified seeds. Jobs in Europe or the United States are not at stake, the company confirms. Bayer regards field trials of genetic plants as inevitable. Executing these test according to the state of technology and with official approval, is, according to Bayer officials, both responsible and necessary.