Syngenta Seeds, manufacturer of a genetically modified corn product known as Agrisure Viptera, has been named in several class action GMO corn lawsuits that accuse the company of marketing the GMO corn to farmers, knowing that China would refuse U.S. shipments of the product. According to the claims, Syngenta and other seed and crop protection companies negatively impacted U.S. corn exports to China, which resulted in a significant decrease in corn prices in the U.S. for every farmer.
While Syngenta maintained that it does have the right to grow GMO corn in an attempt to help farmers to increase productivity and profitability, farmers also acknowledged that such was not the cause of the GMO corn lawsuits. Instead, plaintiffs claim that they have lost sales and income in excess of $1 billion, accusing the company of selling them a product that China would refuse.
Additionally, while GMO corn did not account for a large number of the U.S. corn export to China, several plaintiffs allege that the corn mixed with other products in grain elevators, oceangoing barges and ships, and rail hopper cars. As a result, non-GMO corn, a normally accepted product in China, was reportedly refused by the country on the grounds of contamination.
The GMO corn contains MIR 162 –- a trait that is designed to protect the product from a dozen different types of insects that typically ravage the crop. Court documents indicate that Syngenta spent more than $200 million and five to seven years developing the corn before it received approval in 2010. The company began to market the product the following year.
However, plaintiffs allege that they were told the product would increase their profitability, as China is the third largest export market, but court documents indicate that China had never approved the GMO crop. In early 2014, China began to reject U.S. corn shipments –- actions that decreased corn prices in the U.S. by 11 cents for every bushel. As a result, farmers reported a loss of $1.14 billion for the last nine months of the marketing year of 2014.
According to the plaintiffs, Syngenta continued to push the product despite having full knowledge that the shipments would be refused. Cargill, another major U.S. corn company, also tried to sell the crop to China in November 2013 but was denied because the product was modified. Although Cargill turned to other countries instead to sell the corn, the company filed a claim against Syngenta, claiming a loss of $90 million in damages.
China does not necessarily refuse all genetically modified products, but some experts feel that the country is known for turning away products when the prices are high or changing. According to some, China refuses shipments until it feels that the prices are at rock bottom.
GMO Corn Lawsuits are Increasing, and We Can Help You
Contact Attorney Group today to learn more about the recent GMO corn lawsuits and how you can join the growing litigation if your income has been negatively impacted by Syngenta’s GMO corn products. You may even be eligible to file a lawsuit even if you did not grow Syngenta crops. We can review your case, free of charge, and help determine if you are able to seek compensation from Syngenta for any loss of revenue that you may have incurred as a result of the company’s marketing of GMO corn. Contact us today to learn more.