Lawyers at Beasley Allen are pursuing claims on behalf of those harmed by Syngenta Corporation’s destruction of the corn export market to China. Part of Syngenta’s business involves developing and selling corn seed that possesses certain genetically engineered traits. Two of its developments, Viptera corn and Duracade corn, contain a genetically modified trait known as MIR162 that helps makes the plant resistant to numerous pests. Though this trait is approved for sale in the United States, China (one of the key importers of United States corn) has not approved the trait.
In November of 2013, Chinese regulatory officials found traces of MIR162 in corn shipments from the United States. As a result, China has rejected shipments of United States corn causing farmers and grain handlers across the country to suffer significant economic losses. These lawsuits focus on allegations that Syngenta released MIR162 into the marketplace knowing it lacked approval in China and knowing that commingling of corn is essentially inevitable. Release of the trait led to the contamination of the United States corn supply and is continuing to foreclose the United States export market to China.
Further, the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) have urged Syngenta to stop selling its genetically modified corn. In a joint statement, the agencies said “NAEGA and NGFA are gravely concerned about the serious economic harm to exporters, grain handlers and, ultimately, agricultural procedures – as well as the United States’ reputation to meet its customers’ needs – that has resulted from Syngenta’s current approach to stewardship of Viptera. Further, the same concerns now transcend to Syngenta’s intended product launch plans for Duracade, which risk repeating and extending the damage. Immediate action is required by Syngenta to halt such damage.”
China’s rejection of United States corn shipments has influenced the entire grain market causing corn prices to drop lower than they have been in years. If you or your business suffered injury as a result of the crippled corn export market, or for more information on this litigation, contact Dee Miles, Roman Shaul, or Leslie Pescia, lawyers in our firm’s Consumer Fraud Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Dee.Miles@BeasleyAllen.com, Roman.Shaul@BeasleyAllen.com or Leslie.Pescia@BeasleyAllen.com.