FTC accuses two pesticide makers of ‘boxing out’ competitors
Two of the largest pesticide makers in the world, Syngenta and Corteva, illegally paid distributors to limit their business with competitors that made cheaper generic versions of their chemicals so they could charge inflated prices to farmers, alleged the Federal Trade Commission and 10 state attorneys general in a lawsuit on Thursday.
Farmers seek $1.5 billion from Syngenta for GMO corn snafu
U.S. corn farmers are seeking federal court approval of a $1.5-billion settlement with Syngenta for its decision to sell them a GMO corn variety before China had approved it for import, reported Reuters.
Syngenta moves deeper into farm data
Syngenta yesterday announced its acquisition of FarmShots, a North Carolina-based data company that assesses plant health and other farm conditions. The acquisition marks the latest move by seed and ag-chemical companies to grow their presence in the farm data sector.
EPA lowers fine against Syngenta for pesticide misuse
Syngenta announced this week that it will pay $550,000 in fines after the Environmental Protection Agency found that it misused the pesticide chlorpyrifos at a test field in Hawaii. The fine is dramatically lower than the nearly $5 million initially sought by the Obama administration. Scott Pruitt, Trump's EPA chief, overruled a recommendation by agency scientists to ban chlorpyrifos for agricultural use.
Financing pours into ag-tech start-ups
The research firm CB Insights says investors put more than $700 million into agricultural-technology companies in 2017, far more than the combined $565 million of the two preceding years, said the Financial Times.
Syngenta settlement of China corn case may cost $1.5 billion
In 2013, China drove down corn prices by rejecting U.S. cargoes that included a GMO variety sold by Syngenta that had not yet been approved for import by Beijing. The disruption led to lawsuits against the Swiss agribusiness, which may pay close to $1.5 billion to settle the litigation, said Reuters.
Farmers win $217.7 million in GMO case; Syngenta will appeal
In the first of several class-action lawsuits pending against Syngenta, a federal-court jury awarded $217.7 million to farmers who blamed the seed company for a collapse in corn prices when China rejected cargoes of corn that included the genetically modified Syngenta strain.
The trials of agriculture: corn exports gone awry and was ‘pink slime’ defamed?
In Kansas City, a class-action lawsuit says Syngenta should be held liable for corn shipments rejected by China early this decade. And in Elk Point, South Dakota, Beef Products Inc. (BPI) is seeking billions of dollars in damages from American Broadcasting Companies Inc. (ABC) for reporting that used the name "pink slime" to refer to BPI's "lean finely textured beef."
Hawaii nixes tougher pesticide regulations
Hawaiian lawmakers killed a bill that would have required agribusiness companies like Monsanto and Syngenta to notify nearby residents before spraying pesticides, says Civil Beat. “Reporting provisions requiring notifications for each application would be very onerous and difficult to carry out,” testified Warren Mayberry, DuPont Pioneer’s senior manager of government affairs.
U.S. extends review of ChemChina-Syngenta deal
U.S. regulators are taking more time to study ChemChina's deal to buy Syngenta, says Bloomberg, citing the Swiss seed and ag chemical company. The transaction is one of three that would transform the seed and chemical sector into a "big three" from a "big six."
Seed companies win major case on Hawaiian GMOs
In a victory for Monsanto, Syngenta and other seed companies farming in Hawaii, a federal appeals court ruled that counties can’t regulate pesticide use or GMO crops, says Civil Beat. “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded Friday that Hawaii state pesticide law is comprehensive, and that the Legislature intended it to be 'uniform and exclusive of additional, local rules.'”
Hawaii targets Monsanto and Terminix in pesticide investigations
With Syngenta already under investigation for the alleged misuse of pesticides in Hawaii, the EPA is now looking into Monsanto, Terminix, and Wonder Farm [a Hawaiian agricultural operation] for allegedly ignoring pesticide laws in Hawaii, says Civil Beat.
Court approves class-action lawsuit against Syngenta GMO corn
A U.S. district judge has decided a proposed class-action lawsuit against Syngenta will include half a million U.S. corn growers, but excluding those who planted two GMO strains from the Swiss seed company, says AgWeb. The lawsuit stems from China's rejection in 2013 of cargoes containing Syngenta's Viptera strain and the subsequent decline of corn prices.
Will ChemChina claim immunity against U.S. lawsuits?
With state-owned ChemChina prepared to take over Syngenta, one of the largest seed companies in the world, Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley wants to know if the Chinese company would invoke sovereign immunity against lawsuits in U.S. courts. "If they fail to answer my questions, it ought to raise a big red flag with our regulators checking the antitrust laws against the mergers," Grassley told reporters according to DTN.
Pesticide companies tried to keep their honeybee studies secret
Pesticide manufacturers Syngenta and Bayer appear to have secreted away studies that showed their pesticides did serious harm to honeybees, rather than revealing the results to the public. After Greenpeace obtained the studies from the EPA through the Freedom of Information Act, scientists are calling on the two companies to operate with more transparency, says The Guardian.
U.S. farm groups tell Senate they can support big ag mergers
Since World War Two, the U.S. food supply has come from a network of fewer but larger farms. And the groups representing those highly mechanized operations told the Senate Judiciary Committee that they could accept, with sufficient safeguards, mergers that would convert the six largest seed and agricultural chemical companies into a "big three."
Lawsuit asks $5 billion for corn farmers, says Syngenta
Seed company Syngenta wants the U.S. appeals court in Denver to intervene in a class-action lawsuit, prompted by China's rejection of cargoes that included a GMO variety not approved for import.
Ag-merger wave looks like a ‘tsunami,’ says Senate Judiciary chairman
The seed and ag-chemical industry "is seemingly on the precipice of a significant structural transformation," says Senate Judiciary chairman Charles Grassley in remarks written for today's hearing on consolidation in the sector. Five of the "big six" companies are involved in mergers while two Canadian companies are combining to form the world's largest fertilizer company.