About the Lawsuit
CORN FARMERS, GRAIN HANDLERS, AND EXPORTERS’
CLAIMS AGAINST SYNGENTA
Even if you did not plant Syngenta corn seed in 2013 or 2014, we believe you may be entitled to recover
for your losses that resulted from agribusiness giant Syngenta’s irresponsible conduct which contributed
to depressing corn prices.
Cargill, Trans Coastal Supply Co., and Archer
Daniels Midland Company began filing lawsuits
against Syngenta in September 2014 – alleging
over $100 million in combined losses resulting from
Syngenta’s irresponsible conduct. Hundreds of
lawsuits by farmers have already been filed.
We believe the facts will show that Syngenta
purposefully and prematurely released the
genetically modified MIR 162 corn seed, known
as Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade, into
the U.S. market before the seed received import
approval from China – consequently contaminating
the U.S. corn supply with respect to China and other export markets. As was predicted, in November of 2013, China began rejecting all U.S. corn imports where it detected trace amounts of MIR 162. In February of 2014, China banned the import of all U.S. corn. Since November 2014, Chinese imports for U.S. corn have decreased
by an estimated 85 percent. China was the third-largest export market for U.S. corn in 2012/2013 and
was projected to meet or increase its U.S. corn buying in 2013/2014. To date, China has cancelled or
rejected orders for more than 131 million bushels of U.S. corn.
In January of 2014, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and North American Export Grain
Association sent a joint letter to Syngenta asking it to immediately stop selling Viptera and Duracade until
China and other export markets granted regulatory approval. They told Syngenta that they “are gravely
concerned about the serious economic harm to exports, grain handlers and ultimately, agricultural
producers—as well as the United States’ reputation to meet its customers’ needs—that has resulted from
Syngenta’s current approach to stewardship of Viptera.” Syngenta ignored these reasonable requests to
stop selling these seeds.
In April 2014, the NGFA conservatively calculated the losses due to depressed corn prices caused by
Syngenta’s conduct to be between $1 and $2.9 billion – and could even exceed $3.4 billion depending on
certain circumstances. These losses have been felt across the country.
Syngenta first began marketing, distributing, and selling the genetically modified MIR 162 trait in the U.S.
for the 2011/12 growing season. In the summer of 2011, Bunge North America, Inc. announced that it
would refuse to accept delivery of Viptera corn into its 71 grain and milling facilities because it had yet to
receive import approval from China. What did Syngenta do? Syngenta sued Bunge seeking to force Bunge
to accept Viptera corn. Syngenta’s lawsuit was eventually unsuccessful. Other grain handlers did the
same, with both Cargill and ADM refusing to accept delivery of Viptera corn.
Syngenta is the third-largest seed company in the world. Syngenta generated $14.7 billion in worldwide
sales last year, including $3.2 billion in seed sales. And it is believed that Syngenta’s revenue from the
sale of MIR 162 seed was approximately $875 million alone. According to media reports, China has
recently indicated it will approve the MIR 162 trait, but that will not eliminate or reduce the damages that
have already been incurred by farmers, grain handlers and exporters. And virtually all U.S. corn farmers,
grain handlers and exporters have been harmed by Syngenta’s irresponsible conduct – especially those
who did not plant or handle the Viptera or Duracade seeds.
Click on the PDF icon to view the
complete Syngenta timeline.