In 2011, Syngenta, a Swiss-based company, began selling a genetically modified corn seed known as Agrisure Viptera to U.S. farmers. The seed was genetically modified to be resistant to certain pests including corn borers, black cutworm, and corn rootworm. When Agrisure Viptera was placed on the U.S. market, it had not yet been approved by several foreign countries, including China and the European Union.
In November 2013, China detected Agrisure Viptera corn in a shipment from the United States, rejected the shipment, and for the next several months rejected the majority of corn shipped from the U.S. before finally imposing a complete ban on the import of corn from the U.S. The price of corn plummeted. The decrease in demand not only caused the price of Agrisure Viptera corn to drop; it affected all U.S. corn.
Thousands of U.S. corn farmers, grain elevators, and corn exporters have filed suit against Syngenta, seeking to recover lost income from the drop in corn prices in 2013 and 2014. These lawsuits allege that Syngenta “irresponsibly” chose to sell Agrisure Viptera to U.S. farmers before China approved it for import. These lawsuits further allege that not only was Syngenta negligent in marketing the genetically modified corn prematurely, but that Syngenta convinced U.S. farmers to buy the corn by falsely assuring them that Chinese approval of Agrisure Viptera was imminent.
If you have suffered financially due to the decline in corn prices may be able to join the currently pending lawsuits. The attorneys at Canepa Riedy Abele & Fischer are currently investigating lawsuits on behalf of farmers and others who may have been injured as a result of Agrisure Viptera being sold in the U.S. To learn more about your legal options, please contact us for a free consultation.