Scott Powell on the Rice Settlement
Q: Why was a successful settlement in the Bayer Cropscience case so crucial to the rice farmers and their families?
A: Our clients and other rice farmers were devastated by the loss of markets around the world. The markets are still depressed due to the contamination. As a consequence, the US rice farmers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars. This settlement is crucial to the survivability of many rice growing farms and families in this country.
Q: What does this settlement mean to you from a personal and professional standpoint?
A: It was a tremendous privilege and honor to represent people who make up the backbone of America. To do something positive for them in the face of the devastation they endured humbles me tremendously and makes me proud to be a lawyer.
Q: Will this case serve as a precedent with regard to the do’s and don’ts of agricultural research and crop science, especially as relates to genetically altered plant material?
A: There is no question that the biotech industry watched this case very closely. There are rules and regulations that must be complied with. This case serves as a reminder to all those multinational corporations who choose to perform experiments in our county that they must follow the rules and CANNOT take shortcuts.