Many businesses in the United States rely on the close trade relationships formed with countries around the world, and the same is true in the agricultural industry. Disruptions to agricultural exports can negatively impact business and the economy, as many U.S. corn growers are now alleging in lawsuits against the Swiss seed company Syngenta. Plaintiffs allege in GMO corn lawsuits that Syngenta sold genetically modified seed to them before it was approved for sale in China, resulting in significant financial loss. An Ohio Syngenta lawsuit is an option for farmers and exporters who have suffered as a result of Syngenta GMO corn.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Ohio for more information. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you decide to pursue claim we can connect you with an affiliated Ohio Syngenta lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
The Role of Corn In The U.S Economy
As the largest agricultural crop in the U.S., corn plays a major role in the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Grains Council, the U.S. produces nearly 40 percent of the world’s supply of corn. In 2014, farmers in the United States produced over 13.5 billion bushels of corn, and 11 percent of that yield was exported to over 100 countries around the world. Currently, U.S. growers export most of their corn to Japan, Mexico, Korea, Egypt, Taiwan, Columbia and China, though recent events have limited access to China’s market.
Genetically Modified Crops
Over the years, advances in technology have allowed farmers to produce heartier crops that are more resistant to environmental impacts, including weeds and pests. Genetically modified seeds have become increasingly popular for growers, since the crops require fewer insecticides and herbicides, and can produce greater yields. Genetically modified crops were grown on 10 percent of the world’s agricultural land in 2009. However, some concerns over genetically modified crops have led to the enactment of laws and regulations in many countries. Some farmers worry that genetically modified crops may create weeds or bugs that are resistant to other herbicides or pesticides.
Syngenta Modified Corn
In China, the country’s farm ministry must test and approve genetically modified products before they can be sold in the country. Syngenta filed applications for approval in China in 2010 for a new genetically modified seed, Agrisure Viptera, but lawsuits against the company allege that in 2011 the company began marketing the seed to U.S. farmers before approval was given. This corn seed contains the MIR 162 trait, which, according to Syngenta, provides protection against several pests, including Western bean cutworm, corn earworm and black cutworm.
Two years after U.S. corn producers began purchasing and growing Agrisure Viptera crops, China began to reject bulk shipments of corn from the American farmers, including those who did not use Syngenta seed, due to contamination. Nearly 601,000 tons of corn were turned away by China in 2013 because the country had not approved the MIR 162 trait for sale. Approval was finally granted by China in 2014, but growers who have filed complaints against Syngenta allege that the extended period in which their products were turned away led to significant economic losses.
Syngenta GMO Corn Lawsuits
A study conducted by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) found that the disruption of shipments of U.S. corn to China cost the corn industry between $1 billion and $2.9 billion. The NGFA also estimates that overall U.S. corn prices may have been up to 11 cents per bushel higher if the trade disruption had not occurred.
Class action lawsuits have been filed in a number of corn-producing states, including Ohio, on behalf of local farmers and exporters. Farmers who choose to opt out of class action claims are bringing individual lawsuits against Syngenta. By February 2015, more than 360 businesses in 20 different states, including Ohio, have made claims against Syngenta. Some corn farmers who did not use Syngenta seeds are also filing suit, since the product was mixed with non-genetically modified corn during processing and shipping.
Affected farmers are seeking counsel from Syngenta GMO corn attorneys in Ohio and other states to assist them in determining their rights and remedies.
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