Frequently Asked Questions about the
Syngenta Corn Litigation
What is the lawsuit against Syngenta about?
Syngenta made billions selling two genetically modified products to U.S. corn farmers even though Syngenta knew those genetically modified corn products would hurt U.S. corn farmers. Let us explain.
The price of U.S. corn depends on U.S. corn farmers’ access to foreign markets. Syngenta and the rest of the bio-technology industry recognize that if they sell genetically modified seeds in the U.S. before those seeds are approved by major importing nations like China, it will cause those importing nations to reject U.S. crops and hurt U.S. farmers by dropping corn prices. For this reason, Syngenta refers to corn farmers as “stakeholders” in its business. The bio-tech industry has developed “Stewardship Standards” that address this risk to U.S. farmers.
Despite this knowledge of the risk posed to farmers, Syngenta sold two genetically modified corn seeds – Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade — before those seeds were approved by China. Years ago, in order to convince corn farmers to buy these seeds, Syngenta reassured farmers that China would approve these products “within a matter of days.” Syngenta’s statements were false – China only recently approved Agrisure Viptera, and Agrisure Duracade is still not approved by China.
While Syngenta has made billions from selling these seeds, the results have been catastrophic for U.S. corn farmers. In November of 2013, China stopped importing corn grown by U.S. farmers, and the price of corn plummeted. China is still not buying U.S. corn.
This lawsuit is about making sure that Syngenta pays for the damage it did to the U.S. corn market rather than U.S. farmers.
Don’t just take our word for it:
Follow the link below to read the National Grain and Feed Association’s statement on Syngenta. As of April 16, 2014, the NGFA estimated that Syngenta has caused up to $2.9 billion in losses in the U.S.
If I did not grow Viptera or Duracade why do I have a claim against Syngenta?
The loss of China, a significant U.S. corn export market, has decreased demand for U.S. corn around the world. This decreased demand caused a decrease in the market price for all U.S. corn, regardless of its variety. This lawsuit seeks to compensate U.S. farmers who did not grow Viptera or Duracade for market losses they suffered due to Syngenta’s failure to take proper steps to ensure its Viptera corn was channeled so that it would not end up in the part of the U.S. corn supply that was exported.
How is this similar to the LLRice contamination case against Bayer?
In the LLRice case, several key export markets rejected shipments of rice that contained Bayer’s LLRice. Initially the European Union issued an emergency declaration prohibiting the importation of any rice from the United States. Other key export markets issued similar decrees. Eventually the European Union allowed shipments of rice from the United States as long as those shipments tested negative for LLRice when they arrived in Europe. In this case, the Chinese authorities found Syngenta’s Viptera in shipments of U.S. corn and rejected the shipments. Additionally, the Chinese authorities issued an embargo prohibiting the importation of any corn from the United States. That embargo is still in effect. Like the LLRice case, the loss of the Chinese export market has caused significant market loss damages to corn farmers. The lack of a Chinese market decreased overall demand for U.S. corn supplies, resulting in lower prices farmers could, and can, obtain for their crop.