EPA to Consider Treated Seed Regulation | Corn Farmers Lose Suit

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EPA Sets Deadline to Consider Treated Seeds

EPA recently released a proposed consent decree to resolve litigation brought by environmental groups suing the Agency to require regulatory oversight of treated seed under FIFRA. Under the proposed decree, the EPA will decide by September 30, 2022 whether it will proceed with preparing regulations for treated seed. We reported on this lawsuit earlier this year, which focuses on the use of the “treated articles” exemption under FIFRA for seed treated with pesticides. The environmental groups claim that EPA should be regulating treated seeds as pesticides instead of allowing them to escape FIFRA registration under the exemption.
EPA has opened the proposed decree for public comment through August 5, 2022.

Corn Farmers’ Suit Against Former Attorneys Shot Down

A group of farmers brought individual claims instead of participating in the class action against Syngenta involving the release of MIR 162 corn seed. These individual farmers began to regret their decision to sue individually rather than participate in the class, which led them to hire a new attorney to sue their former attorneys for poor representation under a variety of theories, including fraud and RICO. In the meantime, the class action claims were settled with Syngenta, and the individual farmers were allowed to participate in the settlement pool created for all claimants.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal the individual farmers’ suit against their former attorneys. The Court held that the farmers’ claims against their attorney became moot when they were allowed to participate in the class settlement. Since they were allowed a recovery, they no longer had an economic injury.
The Court of Appeals also affirmed monetary sanctions against the individual farmers for failing to participate in discovery and scheduling conferences, and generally refusing to prosecute their claims.

Online Portal for Submitting Farm Bill Comments

Members of the House Agriculture Committee have set up an online portal for submitting comments and suggestions for the next Farm Bill to be implemented in 2023. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) have announced the online form as a way to get direct feedback from the agriculture community and stakeholders on what is important for the next Farm Bill and whether current legislation is meeting their needs.

The online portal can be found here.

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