Syngenta GMO corn lawsuits have been filed on behalf of farmers regarding a type of corn seed that the Minnetonka-based company, and others, grew and now China has declined to purchase. In October 2014, farmers filed class-action corn lawsuits in federal courts in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, naming Syngenta and its crop protection and seed companies as defendants. Affected farmers and exporters who have suffered losses as a result of Syngenta GMO corn may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation with the help of a products liability attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Syngenta lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
In 2009, Syngenta developed a corn seed containing MIR 162, a genetically engineered trait that protects the corn against damage from more than 12 species of insects, including the corn rootworm and the corn borer. According to court documents, the company spent between five and seven years as well as $200 million to develop the trait and began selling it to growers in the U.S. under the name Agrisure Viptera in 2011.
While farmers are not objecting to the company’s right to produce genetically modified corn seed, or GMO corn, plaintiffs allege that the company sold the GMO corn, and farmers grew it, before it had received approval in China – one of the largest importers of U.S. corn.
According to the National Grain and Feed Association, China’s rejection of U.S. corn shipments beginning in November 2013 decreased domestic corn prices by roughly 11 cents per bushel, leading to an estimated loss of $1.14 billion for the remaining nine months of the marketing year. Instead of waiting for Chinese approval of Viptera GMO corn, Syngenta allegedly pushed its product on U.S. farmers in an attempt to enhance its profit margins and allegedly continues to do so despite the allegations against the company.
Why Are There Corn Lawsuits?
As a result of the trade disruption with China, the majority of U.S.-grown corn has allegedly been excluded from what was initially the third largest export market, according to the complaints, and farmers in the U.S. have reportedly lost income and sales of more than $1 billion. Additionally, although the GMO corn was planted by a small number of U.S. farmers, the product has been mixed with other corn in oceangoing ships, barges, rail hopper cars and grain elevators, effectively contaminating these products with GMO corn that China will refuse. This means corn farmers using Syngenta seeds may not be the only ones affected, and corn farmers who did not use Syngenta may also be able to pursue a claim.
According to the lawsuits, the defendants “crippled” the U.S. corn export market to China, thus lowering domestic corn prices for every farmer in the U.S. However, Syngenta issued a statement in which the company strongly supports its growers’ rights to have access to new and approved technologies that can increase both their profitability and their productivity.
In November 2013, Cargill, another exporter of U.S. corn, attempted to sell corn to China and was turned away because the product contained GM corn seed. While Cargill was able to sell the corn to other countries, it allegedly claimed $90 million in damages from the rejections in China. Although China is not against genetically modified crops, some believe that the country has a habit of questioning U.S. shipments at times when prices are significantly changing.
How a Syngenta GMO Corn Lawsuit Can Help
Farmers who have lost money as a result of Syngenta selling genetically engineered corn seed are filing Syngenta GMO corn lawsuits. Whether or not a farmer used GMO corn seed, their harvest may have been contaminated, rejected or sold at a lower price as a result of Syngenta’s actions. Plaintiffs include exporters, corn farmers, brokers, grain silos, resellers and others involved in the corn chain of distribution. Corn farmers who did not use Syngenta corn seed may also be able to pursue a claim.
People who have been affected by Syngenta GMO corn are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified Michigan Syngenta lawsuit attorney so that they can be informed of their legal rights.
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