Syngenta Faces More Suits Over Viptera Seeds
As noted in the Wall Street Jorunal, Syngenta AG faces escalating legal battles over its sale of genetically engineered corn seeds that some farmers and agricultural companies say have roiled international grain markets this year.
U.S. farmers in 11 states have sued Syngenta in federal courts during the past few weeks, alleging losses they say arose from the Swiss seed-and-chemical company’s move to sell biotech seeds before the corn was approved by Chinese authorities for import there. China’s rejections of U.S. corn shipments found to contain the Syngenta strain starting last November allegedly depressed overall market prices for the grain, driving more than $1 billion in losses for U.S. farmers, according to documents filed in the lawsuits.
The farmers’ suits, filed in U.S. district courts and seeking class-action status, follow separate cases filed last month by grain exporters Cargill Inc. and Trans Coastal Supply Co., arguing that they lost tens of millions of dollars after Chinese grain inspectors detected the Syngenta corn in cargoes and turned away shipments. On Friday, farmers filed complaints against Syngenta in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana after earlier lawsuits spanning other farm states.
Syngenta officials said the cases have no merit, and that it has been transparent about the approval process for the GMO corn in question, known as Viptera.
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