February 6, 2015 — Corn farmers, exporters, and other businesses in 20 states have filed another 360 lawsuits against Syngenta AG, and hundreds more are on the way.
Syngenta is a Swiss agribusiness responsible for decimating corn prices by introducing a genetically modified (GMO) corn seed before it was approved in China.
The seed tainted at least 1.45 million metric tons of American corn, which were rejected by China beginning in February 2014. The price of corn plummeted, costing the U.S. corn industry an estimated $1-3 billion, according to the complaint.
According to one lawsuit filed in federal court in Iowa, cited by ABC News:
“Knowing that contamination of Viptera corn with the rest of the U.S. corn supply was inevitable, Syngenta nevertheless gambled U.S. farmers’ livelihood on approval of Viptera by the major corn-importing countries.”
Most recently, a group of farmers from North Carolina have joined the litigation by filing a class action lawsuit.
Hundreds of class actions and individual lawsuits have been centralized in a federal court in Kansas. They accuse Syngenta of “overly aggressive commercialization” of the seed in the 2012 and 2013 growing season.
Although only a small percentage of corn acres were actually planted with the seed, much of the nation’s supply was contaminated due to cross-pollination and cross-contamination on shared grain elevators, trains, and trucks.
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