Class actions were filed in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska in federal court alleging that U.S. farmers have been damaged by Syngenta flooding the U.S. market with genetically engineered corn.
China has caused international waves by rejecting the genetically engineered MIR 162 corn seed, manufacture by Syngenta, before import approval was obtained from China.
The lawsuits allege that Syngenta’s decision to continue marketing MIR162 corn in the United States, despite the lack of import approval from China, has caused U.S. corn to be effectively excluded from China and domestic corn prices to be detrimentally impacted as a result.
The complaints also alleged that Syngenta deliberately misrepresented the significance of the export market for corn on U.S. corn prices with the intention of encouraging farmers to continue to buy and plant its MIR162 corn knowing it would contaminate and impact the export market.
It is alleged that Syngenta misrepresented to farmers that China would approve the import of MIR 162.
MIR162, also known as Agrisure Viptera, was released and distributed for planting in 2009, with a second generation version known as Agrisure Duracade distributed this year. MIR162 is engineered to protect against insects such as the corn borer and corn rootworm.
According to one class action, the release of Syngenta’s GM seed led to an 85 percent drop in Chinese imports of U.S. corn. As the U.S. does not demand labeling of U.S. products there is no way of preventing the contamination of U.S. corn supply with MIR162.
Two other class actions were filed in September by Cargill and Trans Coastal Supply Co.