Riceland Foods is the largest rice cooperative in the U.S. The cooperative filed suit against the Bayer Corporation for damages it suffered as a result of Bayer's unapproved genetically-modified rice contaminating natural long-grain rice -- one of hundreds of similar lawsuits that have been filed against Bayer in federal and state courts.
As a result of this contamination, countries within the European Union refused to purchase U.S. long grain rice, and rice farmers and cooperatives lost millions of dollars in sales. They also incurred substantial clean-up costs.
According to the Jere Beasley Report:
"Riceland alleged in its lawsuit that the presence of Bayer's Liberty Link rice caused the cooperative to lose $389 million in projected and future earnings. The jury found that Bayer caused tremendous harm to Riceland and the entire industry and awarded Riceland $11.8 million in compensatory damages and $125 million in punitive damages. The jury also found that Bayer was solely responsible for any damages incurred by farmers as a result of the loss of the European market."
In related news, a new electron microscopic pathogen in the shape of a medium-sized virus has been discovered, which appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings.