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Published July 30, 2010, 10:31 AM

Jury awards $940,000 in Arkansas rice lawsuit

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The German conglomerate Bayer CropScience has been ordered to pay six Arkansas rice farmers $940,000 for allowing genetically altered rice into the commercial market.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The German conglomerate Bayer CropScience has been ordered to pay six Arkansas rice farmers $940,000 for allowing genetically altered rice into the commercial market.

A jury in Desha County on Wednesday found the farmers suffered losses when exports and rice prices fell after the contamination was announced in 2006.

Bayer issued a prepared statement saying it will consider its legal options and that the company “maintains it acted responsibly and appropriately at all times” in handling the rice.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said the rice poses no health risk — but it had not been approved for human consumption at the time.

Three federal juries and three juries in Arkansas have now awarded more than $53 mil-lion to farmers for damages in the case.

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