Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Business

U.S. Federal Trade Commission sues pesticide makers, alleging price scheme

By Leah Douglas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued two top pesticide manufacturers for allegedly entering into exclusive contracts with distributors that kept prices paid by farmers artificially high.

The consumer watchdog agency was motivated to bring the case in part because rising costs and supply chain disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have put economic pressure on farmers, an agency official told Reuters.

Swiss-headquartered Syngenta and U.S.-based Corteva Inc. paid distributors not to offer farmers generic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides after the companies’ patents on six chemical ingredients expired, the FTC said.

As a result, farmers have paid around 20% more, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars a year, for the companies’ products, the agency said.

(The story corrects third paragraph to show Syngenta is headquartered in Switzerland, not Swiss-owned)

(Reporting by Leah Douglas; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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