• Sarah Day Levesque

Monsanto Settles More Cases Related to on 2013 Oregon Wheat Contamination

Monsanto Company has reached a settlement with farmers in several states in the 2013 case of contamination of an Oregon wheat field with genetically modified wheat produced by the company. The settlement involved farmers from Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi that sued for economic damages caused after the Oregon contamination led some countries to suspend order of soft white wheat exports and the EU to call for tougher testing of U.S. shipments.

In the settlement Monsanto accepts no liability but instead will donate $50,000 to land grant universities in each of the states involved to further the interests of wheat farmers and industry. The company will also reimburse plaintiffs and their counsel for a portion of their out-of-pocket costs and fees associated with this case.

"Rather than paying the costs of protracted litigation, this agreement puts that money to work in research and development efforts for the wheat industry," Kyle McClain, Monsanto chief litigation counsel, said in a release. "Resolution in this manner is reasonable and in the best interest of all of the parties."

In November 2014, Monsanto settled separate suits related to Oregon incident by agreeing to pay $2.4 million, most of which will go to a fund to pay farmers from Washington, Oregon and Idaho that sold white wheat in the six months after the contamination. Just one case, brought by Arkansas wheat growers, is still pending and Monsanto says it hopes to resolve it soon.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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