When Swiss-based Syngenta began to market its GMO corn in New York and across the U.S., it assured everyone in the industry that its MIR162 seed would be accepted everywhere.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Syngenta now faces an increasing number of individuals and companies filing lawsuits because those alleged promises were not true. China, the third-largest import of America’s corn, had banned MIR162.
The Syngenta GMO Corn Project
Syngenta launched about five years ago a research and development effort to create a GMO corn seed that would grow crops protected against certain types of insects. These are insects that commonly are harmful to corn crops in different parts of the U.S.
After spending approximately $200 million on this research and development effort, Syngenta came up with Viptera. In 2010, Viptera won approval for use and planting by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Viptera Market Push
Once Viptera won approval for planting by the USDA, Syngenta launched an aggressive marketing campaign for its new GMO corn product.
One of the marketing techniques that Syngenta used to see the corn was a statement that the Chinese government was on the verge of approving corn grown with the MIR162 gene. In fact, the CEO of Syngenta went so far as to say that Chinese approval of Viptera was coming a matter of days.
As a result, thousands of farmers planted hundreds of thousands of acres of corn using Viptera. Grain elevators and grain exporters also began to make financial and other investments to prepare themselves to process and export GMO corn grain and products to China. Corn futures went up to $8 a bushel.
The Actions of the Chinese Government
Ultimately, the Chinese government refused to permit Viptera GMO corn into the country. They took a zero tolerance approach to MIR162, and that included any discovery of it in non-GMO corn that may have been comingled with it.
The Aftermath and Damages
According to the National Grain and Feed Association, financial losses associated with Viptera are nearing $3 billion.
Farmers who planted Viptera ended up without the huge market opportunity they were lead to believe would exist in China. Grain elevators similarly were stuck with grain that they thought would be heading to China. Grain exporters were left in a similar position.
The ancillary industries that elected to use this Syngenta GMO corn product were similarly left in a negative position as a result of the Viptera matter. Moreover, the damages associated with Viptera grew beyond GMO corn to all corn grown in the United States. Because of the Chinese zero tolerance policy regarding GMO corn, and corn believed to be contaminated with at least some GMO kernels, corn imports into China all been ceased. This resulted in even more losses to the corn grain and corn based product markets as a whole.
Are You Eligible to File a New York Syngenta Lawsuit?
Even if you didn’t grow Viptera, you could be eligible to file a New York Syngenta lawsuit. Attorney Group for New York can help you determine if you have a claim against Syngenta because you have lost profits from the rejected corn. If we believe you have a claim, one of our affiliated attorneys can file a New York Syngenta lawsuit seeking a monetary compensation. Call Attorney Group for New York for a no out-of-pocket consultation of your case.