The deadline is Oct. 12, 2018, to file a claim in the litigation involving Syngenta’s decision to sell a strain of insect-resistant GMO corn seed varieties in the United States before obtaining import approval from China.
If you do not file your claim by then, you will not receive any money from the settlement, and you will be giving up any claim you have against Syngenta related to the litigation, said John Shoup, director of the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation.
In April, a settlement was reached with Syngenta over class action and individual lawsuits related to the sale and marketing of its Agrisure Viptera and Duracade seeds.
The settlement may affect the claims of corn producers, regardless of whether that producer purchased or grew Viptera or Duracade corn. The reason growers who did not grow these varieties are included is that the settlement is intended to compensate all corn producers in the U.S. “with an interest in U.S. corn priced for sale between Sept. 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018,” according the litigation settlement’s website.
Under the agreement, according to a news release from the lead attorneys, Syngenta would contribute $1.51 billion to a settlement fund that would be allocated among farmers and other eligible parties (such as grain handling facilities and ethanol plants) and to cover the costs of administering the settlement.
The corn litigation settlement website provides complete information on the settlement.
It is also the fastest and easiest way to submit a claim, Shoup noted. You will not need to submit any documents, but you will need the Social Security or tax ID number for each of your farming entities, the estimated percentage of your corn that you fed on-farm in 2013-18 and whether you purchased Agrisure Viptera or Duracade corn seed. Whether you did or not, you still will be eligible for compensation from the settlement.
You also can print a paper copy from the website or you can call 1-833-567-CORN to have a copy mailed to you. You then would need to mail in the completed and signed claim form.
Shoup cautioned that producers need to submit a separate claim form for each person or entity that grew corn or they won’t receive their full share of the settlement. The rule of thumb is that every Social Security or tax ID number (spouse, relative, partner, etc.) used to report corn acreage to the Farm Service Agency on a Form 578 requires a separate claim form.
Also be sure and tell all crop share landlords or anyone else whose name appears on an FSA 578 for land you farm (such as a farming partner, relative or spouse) that they also need to fill out a form to claim their share.
For updates, check the settlement website, call 1-833-567-CORN (2676) or email your questions using the link on the website.