Syngenta has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the unintended release of a limited amount of Bt10 corn.

The coordinated investigation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and USDA concluded: "EPA and USDA have reviewed scientific information and have concluded that there are no human or animal health or environmental concerns with Bt10 corn." USDA issued a $375,000 fine and a requirement that Syngenta sponsor a compliance training conference.

"We welcome the settlement with the USDA and the government's conclusion that Syngenta's misidentification of Bt10 corn, while a regrettable mistake, does not pose any risks to consumers, public health or the environment," said Mike Mack, chief operating officer of Syngenta Seeds. "While the amount of Bt10 corn that was mistakenly supplied represents an extremely small quantity, we fully accept and will abide by the USDA's decision and requirements. We continue to cooperate with the EPA in the USA and with governments and authorities concerned around the world, including in Asia and the European Commission. Syngenta will make all efforts to provide the relevant authorities with any necessary additional information."

Bt10 corn is genetically modified corn that was mistakenly supplied in very small amounts as Bt11 corn between 2001 and 2004. The proteins expressed by Bt10 and Bt11 are identical, with the Bt gene in a different location in the corn's genome; this has no impact on the safety of the corn.

A summary of the settlement with the USDA can be found on USDA's Web site.

Source: Company Release