Syngenta Allegedly Misrepresented Facts About Seed Approval in China
The lawsuit brought against Syngenta is based around allegations that Syngenta blatantly misrepresented information about MIR 162 corn, also known as Agrisure Viptera, a type of genetically modified corn that is supposed to resist insects better than other corn varieties. Syngenta supposedly led farmers to believe that China – which is one of the largest importers of US corn – was within weeks of approving the MIR 162 corn.
But the information put out by Syngenta about Chinese approval turned out to be inaccurate; in 2013, China rejected the imports of American corn grown with MIR 162. The result: a huge downturn in the corn marketing, resulting in billions of dollars lost for U.S. farmers.
The lawsuit(s), which had been filed by more than 10,000 farmers in 22 states, and have now been combined into a single class action, seek to hold Syngenta liable for the $5 to $7 billion in current and future economic losses experienced by the corn farmers by proving that the seed company acted negligently by promoting and marketing the genetically modified seed before gaining approval from China.
Syngenta has denied responsibility, and has stated that it disagrees with a 2016 ruling by a district court judge in Kansas which allowed the lawsuits to proceed as a class action. The judge’s ruling allows the farmers to combine suits into one, cutting costs for individuals and streamlining the process.
Do I Have a Case?
If you have been affected by the downturn in US corn markets and believe that Syngenta’s actions are to blame, you may be able to join the class action suit. Farmers who have joined the suit thus far are those who did not plant Viptera corn, yet were affected by the economic downturn that began in November of 2013 that disrupted change and caused corn prices to fall drastically.