A deadline is fast approaching for rice farmers to submit claims under a $750 million settlement reached with Bayer CropScience.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek in “Deadline nears to submit claims in Bayer rice case,” eligible rice farmers must submit claims by October 10. Claimants are mostly in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Missouri.
The settlement is from a lawsuit filed against Bayer CropScience in 2006, when Bayer announced that it had permitted an experimental strain of genetically modified rice into the food supply. It was unknown then whether genetically modified food posed health risks and the disclosure led to falling prices in the U.S. and Europe for long-grain rice.
The modifications were only to long-grain rice. Short-grain rice, which is used in sushi, and medium-grain rice, used in cereals, were unaffected.
Farmers can collect settlements based on the number of acres planted for rice from 2006 to 2010, at a rate of $310 per acre. If they were forced to plant another crop that did not pay as well as the rice crop would have yielded, they can collect as well.
A plaintiffs’ attorney stressed that Bayer has the option of cancelling the settlement if 85 percent of the eligible rice acreage does not participate in the settlement, which prompted the lawyer to urge farmers to file their claims as soon as possible.
Information in this post gathered in association with Dallas GA bankruptcy lawyers.