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Syngenta Pays $105 Million to Settle Herbicide Lawsuits

Syngenta AG (SYNN), the world’s largest crop-chemicals company, agreed to pay $105 million to settle litigation involving U.S. water utilities over the herbicide atrazine.

Syngenta filed the agreement with a district court in Illinois yesterday, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement today. The charge is partly covered by provisions, and the effect on 2012 earnings will be about 50 U.S. cents a share.

“Under the terms of the agreement, Syngenta expressly denied liability and the plaintiffs acknowledged that they are not aware of any new scientific studies relating to atrazine,” the company said.

Syngenta said it will continue to sell atrazine in the U.S. for corn growers to control weeds. The chemical was banned in the European Union in 2003 after the weedkiller was linked in studies to birth defects in frogs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Mulier in Geneva at tmulier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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