Farmers in states such as Mississippi have become plaintiffs in a Mississippi Syngenta lawsuit claiming that the seed-and-chemical company’s sale of corn that had been genetically-engineered depressed prices for corn in their areas. This is related to the release of Agrisure Viptera, a MIR162 genetically-modified grain that is designed to protect the corn from certain types of insects which was released in 2009.
Rejection of Corn Shipments
The issue with the corn is that the Chinese government has not approved the corn although it is approved for use in the United States. In November 2013, China began rejecting corn shipments from the United States because of the existence of Viptera, causing farmers more than $1 billion in damages. According to the National Grain and Feed Association, China’s enforcement of the ban on Syngenta GMO has caused United States corn imports into that country to drop by 85%, leading to the Mississippi Syngenta lawsuit filed by farmers.
Mississippi Syngenta Lawsuit
On Nov. 7, 2014, a class action Syngeta lawsuit was filed in Mississippi (http://www.wlox.com/stroy/27325068/heninger-garrison-davis-files-gmo-corn-class-action-lawsuit-against-syntenta), claiming that Syngenta knew or should have known that releasing the genetically-altered grain would lead to the contamination of corn shipments from the U.S. The Mississippi Syngenta lawsuit contends that the company caused grain prices to fall, caused harm to exporters, distributors and farmers and caused the Chinese government to destroy crops. The lawsuit also alleges that there is now a lack of confidence in United States sourced corn.
Misinformed by Syngenta
Another contention of the Mississippi Syngenta lawsuit is that the company misinformed farmers, grain exporters and the general public about the prospects of China approving the use of MIR162 corn. It alleges that the company encouraged farmers to plant GMO corn in order to enhance the company’s profit margins at the expense of the farmers and the grain industry. Even farmers who did not plant the corn may be eligible for inclusion in the Syngeta lawsuit because of falling corn prices and the potential that their crops could be contaminated by cross-pollination.
In addition to the farmers, grain exporters Cargill Inc. and TransCoastal Supply Co. have filed suit claiming that they lost tens of millions of dollars after the Chinese government detected the genetically-modified corn in cargoes. The lawsuits claim that Syngenta should not have marketed and aggressively promoted Viptera while downplaying the importance of the Chinese export market. The grain exporters, like the farmers, claim that by misrepresenting that the Chinese were close to approving the use of the grain, major losses were suffered.
Syngenta claims that the Mississippi Syngenta lawsuit and others like it have no merit and that they have not misrepresented the approval process for GMO corn. The company says it has complied with all rules and regulations in the countries where the products are being sold. The agricultural sector faces growing questions over genetically modified seeds after the United States Department of Agriculture found unauthorized GMO wheat growing in Montana and a different strain growing in a field in Oregon. No explanation was found as to how the genetically modified wheat ended up in Oregon, although the Montana location was close to a site where field trials had been conducted over a decade before.
Syngenta says the GMO corn protects against insects that have been known to decimate corn harvests. The corn produced by Syngenta is herbicide resistant and produces its own insecticide, known as Bt Toxin. The insecticide occurs naturally in the soil and produces proteins that kill certain insects, such as caterpillars. The toxin causes the insects to stop feeding and breaks down the gut wall of the insect. This causes the insect to die of septicaemia as bacteria multiplies in the blood (http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfcts/ef130.as).
Because the use of GMO corn products has not been approved for use in China, the Chinese government has blocked the import of corn from the U.S. if any traces of Viptera are found in a shipment. The Chinese have destroyed a significant amount of corn imported from the states, costing farmers, grain sellers and others billions of dollars because of lost revenue due to falling grain prices and a blockage of imports of corn from the United States into China.
Do You Qualify for a Mississippi Syngenta Lawsuit?
Just because you didn’t plant Syngenta Viptera doesn’t mean you are ineligible for a Mississippi Syngenta Lawsuit. Any corn grower who has seen profits fall and believes that Syngenta’s alleged false claims regarding China’s acceptance of MIR162 could be eligible for a monetary compensation. Attorney Group for Mississippi can review your case with no out-of-pocket cost to you and refer you to one of our affiliated attorneys who can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Call Attorney Group for Mississippi today for more information.