Originally published October 6 2014
Syngenta faces billion-dollar lawsuits after ruining U.S. corn exports with GMO contamination
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) Just when one of the world's top agricultural chemical and GMO seed producers was getting off lightly with Cargill for destroying the US corn exporter's market to China, others piled on with three separate class action lawsuits of $1 billion each.
China has recently been the focus of exporting lots of corn from the USA, especially since China had decided to accept even GM corn since 2010. But by 2013, China's mood had changed. They have officially mandated that no new strains of GM crops will be accepted or licensed in China.
Cargill filed a lawsuit against Syngenta for $90 million September 2014 for damages against export trade losses due to China's refusal of more than 1.4 million metric tons of corn after finding traces of GMO Agrisure Viptera (MIR162), designed to create its own insecticide.
It turned out that China had not approved this GM corn line by Syngenta. So they righteously refused to receive the shipments.
You may wonder how come such a low claim of $90 million was filed for so much corn denied from Cargill's shipments over several months. It's because Cargill managed to get many of those shipments dropped off elsewhere in that region. That's how Syngenta got off light with Cargill.
But the China GMO syndrome has been extended to refuse even more corn shipments, using the Syngenta experience as a basis of mistrust. Some insiders consider this an excuse to cover China's new cooling on the whole GMO idea and resurgence of their own corn crops.
Now, many American corn farmers are using the Cargill suit as legal precedent for piling on Syngenta, a Switzerland-based firm that isn't allowed to perform open-field GMO experiments in its own country. Instead, they've usurped lots within contamination distance of organic corn lots in the USA for open-air trials.
Now Syngenta may be liable for 3,000 times the Cargill suit - totaling $3 billion!The class action suits of $1 billion dollars each from three different farming states totals $3 billion. Omaha-based lead plaintiff Volnek Farms claims Syngenta "destroyed the export of U.S. corn to China and caused depressed prices for all domestic corn."
Plaintiffs Cronin Inc. and Jim Ruba Jr. out of Souix City Iowa, who never plant GM corn, claim that even their China corn export market has been harmed. Their accusations are:
(1) Syngenta's release of Viptera corn into the U.S. corn and corn seed supply... has destroyed the export of U.S. corn to China and caused depressed prices for all domestic corn.
(2) [Syngenta made] materially misleading statements relating to the approval status of MIR162 in China and the impact the lack of approval would have on the market [were ignored].
(3) Syngenta's widespread contamination of the U.S. corn and corn seed supply with MIR162... will continue to foreclose the U.S. export market to China in future years and will continue to lead to lower corn prices per bushel in the U.S. market....
Another group out of Springfield, Illinois, filed a suit similar to the other two in damage claim amounts and legal reasons. All three were filed in their respective states' federal courts on the same Friday, October 3, 2014.
The plaintiffs claim that the China Syngenta MIR162 episode has led to an 85 percent decrease in corn exports to China and an 11 cents per bushel decrease in domestic corn.
Even though only three acres in the USA have been used for this MIR162 GM corn, an obvious open-air trial with USDA approval, major grain handlers such as Bunge North America, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill also refuse to accept Viptera because "preventing commingling is essentially impossible."
Looks like Syngenta is in some serious trouble. And that's a good thing.
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