The History of Viptera Corn
Syngenta began selling Viptera corn seed in 2011 and assured farmers in 2012 that their new GMO corn would be approved in China, one of the world’s top markets for feed corn. The corn is genetically modified to be resistant to known pests such as corn rootworm, corn borers and black cutworm. Many Oklahoma farmers bought and grew Viptera corn with the understanding that it would just as profitable as other kinds of corn with added benefits for pest control. Viptera was planted in approximately 2.8 million acres of the United States, including on farms in Oklahoma.
China Bans Viptera
Although Syngenta assured farmers that corn grown from Syngenta’s Viptera seed would be approved soon in China, the opposite occurred. The genetic trait MIR162 was subsequently banned in China, leaving Oklahoma farmers with a much smaller market for their product. The resulting losses have been devastating to corn farmers. In the past year, the Chinese government has turned away 1.45 million metric tons of this corn, in addition to a large amount of non-GMO corn that has been contaminated via cross-pollination.
Devastation in the Corn Industry
The corn market expects to continue to lose profits based on current futures models. About $3.4 billion is expected to be lost in the next year. Corn prices have fallen by more than a third, from $6.88 to $4.48 a bushel.
All Farmers Are Affected
Farmers in Oklahoma are banding together to hold Syngenta accountable for their loss in profits. Although the National Grain and Feed Association has asked Syngenta to stop selling their Viptera corn, the company continues to market it. This will keep corn prices unacceptably low, affecting all corn farmers.
The GMO corn has contaminated neighboring cornfields, even ones at great distance. Also, the storing and transportation process for corn does not separate corn by breed. Viptera corn can contaminate in elevators and transportation.
What Happens Now?
China, once the world’s third-largest corn market, has already found new feed sources, which will have a long term effect on corn farmers. In addition to buying corn from other countries, many Chinese farmers are buying sorghum and other alternative feed grains. China is still considering whether to lift the ban on corn grown from Viptera seed, but until then the corn is not allowed to be used in any manner in the country.
Farmers, grain elevator operators and those in the transportation industry already are filing lawsuits such as the Oklahoma Syngenta lawsuit as a result of Syngenta’s alleged negligence in ensuring the MIR162 corn would be approved in large markets such as China before they made the corn available to farmers.
Do You Grow Corn? You May Be Eligible to File a Lawsuit
Just because you didn’t grow Syngenta Viptera doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible to file an Oklahoma Syngenta Lawsuit. If your corn prices have dropped this year and you believe China’s ban on MIR162 is the reason, contact Attorney Group for Oklahoma today for an evaluation of your claim. If we believe you have a case, we can refer you to one of our affiliated attorneys who can file an Oklahoma Syngenta lawsuit on your behalf. Call Attorney Group for Oklahoma to find out if you are eligible to receive a monetary compensation for your loss.