Are you a corn farmer who has been impacted by the rejection of Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera™ MIR 162 corn and DDGS shipments to China? Have depressed corn and DDGS prices hurt your bottom line? If so, you may have legal rights to hold Syngenta responsible through corn farmers lawsuits for depressing the market prices for corn and DDGS by marketing the generically-modified corn seed without having approval for import into China.
In 2009-2010, Syngenta released a genetically modified corn seed, Agrisure Viptera®, into the U.S. market. Viptera® contains a genetic trait referred to as MIR 162 that was not approved for import by China then and still has not yet received approval.
Despite not having approval, Syngenta made statements that approval in China was imminent. For example, during Syngenta’s first quarter 2012 earnings conference call, Syngenta CEO Michael Mack stated, “[t]here isn’t outstanding approval for China, which we expect to have quite frankly within the matter of a couple days … we know of no issue with that whatsoever….” (From Transcript of Syngenta’s First Quarter 2012 Earning Conference Call Transcript.)
Syngenta also did not instruct farmers who purchased Agrisure Viptera® corn to plant it in a manner that would prevent it from cross pollinating with other types of corn. Because of Syngenta’s failure to control how Viptera® corn was planted, the Viptera® corn trait cross pollinated with fields of non-Viptera® corn and introduced MIR 162 into the U.S. general corn supply.
Starting in November 2013, shipments of corn containing MIR 162 arrived in China and were subsequently rejected by Chinese officials. Since this initial rejection, the introduction of the MIR 162 genetic trait into the U.S. corn supply led to the destruction of corn and DDGS exports to China.
The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) released an estimate in April 2014 stating that China’s decision to reject U.S. corn and DDGS shipments as a result of Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera MIR 162 corn has resulted in $2.9 billion in losses to U.S. corn, DDGS and soy sectors. This dramatically impacted the profitability of corn farmers and exporters alike, resulting in a Syngenta corn lawsuit.
In addition, the NGFA predicted that during the 2014-2015 marketing year that began on Sept. 1, 2014, the U.S. corn farming industry could suffer additional economic impact up to $3.4 billion.
Despite the problems Viptera® corn has caused the U.S. corn market, Syngenta launched another MIR 162 product, Duracade™ corn, which is also not approved by China. The release of Duracade™ will likely continue the cycle of harm to corn and DDGS prices that Viptera® caused. NGFA, which represents companies handling almost three-quarters of U.S. grains, expects Duracade™ to also cause similar disruptions in the corn market because the genetically-modified corn product has not yet been approved in China and other U.S. corn export markets.
In addition to corn farmers, corn and DDGS exporters and businesses involved in the grain market have also reported losses due to China’s rejection of corn ships containing elements of Viptera® corn.
Companies have turned to Viptera® corn attorneys and filed lawsuits against Syngenta alleging the global seed company is responsible for the damages caused to corn prices due to the rejection of corn and DDGS shipments by China.
Simmons Hanly Conroy, ConsumerSafety.Law sponsor, is investigating the legal rights of other grain industry businesses who may have experienced financial harm because of Syngenta’s Viptera® and Duracade™corn seed. Below is a list of business types in the grain industry who may have been harmed by Syngenta’s Viptera® and Duracade™ corn seed and may be eligible to file a GMO corn seed lawsuit.
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