Corn seed mdl
Syngenta’s New Seed Wrecked Overseas Market for U.S. Corn, Farmers Claim
June 7, 2017
In a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case in Kansas, a group of corn farmers allege that the launch of a new corn seed by agribusiness giant Syngenta resulted in the closure of Chinese markets to American corn. The suit claims that Syngenta’s act resulted in $200 million in lost revenue for Kansas farmers.
In the suit, four farmers are representing some 7000 others, all of whom believe that Syngenta rushed its pest-resistant Viptera seed to market without considering the approval of Chinese agricultural regulatory agencies. China represents a major market for American corn, and when seeds of non-approved Viptera were discovered in 2013 export shipments, the nation enacted an immediate embargo of all U.S. corn.
Corn had been fetching $7 per bushel in 2013, but dropped to $5. Farmers allege that the closure of the Chinese market was the cause; Syngenta alleges that it was adverse weather conditions that caused Kansas farmers’ revenues to drop.
Viptera is a genetically modified seed that has been designed to resist the western bean cutworm, a pest that can inflict significant damages on corn crop yields.
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