November 20, 2015 — Syngenta AG has filed a lawsuit against two of the biggest grain-traders in the United States as the fight over who is responsible for billions in economic losses from GMO corn heats up.
Reuters reports that the lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court in Kansas.
Syngenta claims that grain-traders Cargill Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. should bear some of the responsibility for shipping GMO-tainted corn to China without approval. Syngenta claims the grain-shippers failed to keep GMO corn separated from approved strains so they could profit from high corn prices.
A lawyer representing Syngenta told the Wall Street Journal, “The lion’s share of the duty falls on the grain trade.”
The USDA approved Syngenta’s GMO corn in 2010 and it was planted on a tiny percentage of corn acres in 2011. In late 2013, China closed its doors to American corn contaminated with the seed, sending corn prices plummeting. Corn prices have recovered, but exports to China are still down 85% this year.
Today, much of the nation’s corn supply is tainted with Syngenta’s GMO seed due to cross-pollination and cross-contamination in grain elevators. Syngenta aggressively sued grain-traders like Bunge North America who refused to accept the seed.
It wasn’t until December 2014 — just days before China approved the seed — that Syngenta dropped the lawsuit against Bunge. Syngenta is now facing lawsuits from thousands of farmers who blame the company for up to $3 billion in economic losses.
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