In 2010 Syngenta, a huge international conglomerate and seed manufacturer, received approval from the United States for its corn seeds with the MIR162 trait. The brands included in that trait are Agrisure, Viptera, and Duracade. The MIR162 trait has been modified to make the corn more resistant to insects. After gaining US approval, Syngenta was warned repeatedly by the corn industry groups such as the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) that there were grave concerns about serious economic harm resulting from Syngenta’s approach to the use of this seed. China, the United States’ 3rd largest corn export partner, rejected millions of metric tons of corn and other grains like soybeans, which apparently evidenced even the slight traces of MIR162, in 2013. The United States was largely banned from its corn and soybean export markets beginning in 2013 and continuing to the present. Now, 68 other countries have joined China in rejected the United States’ corn and other grains. Finally, in December of 2014, China authorized the MIR162. However, China has not authorized some other genetically-modified corn seeds manufactured by Syngenta.
Prior to 2013, Syngenta marketed MIR162 corn as though it would be accepted in China and other countries and the company continued to market that way after China began rejecting the seed. Syngenta’s actions were driven by profits and they were grossly negligent and reckless. Their actions directly led to the rejection of corn and soybeans by these foreign markets. The resulting flood of product in the US market and reduced demand in foreign markets caused a near catastrophic drop in the price of corn, soybeans and other grains. As a result every American farmer has been damaged as a result of the affect on the commodities market.
There have been several class actions filed by corn producers. However, as with all class actions, each individual farmer has the ability to opt out of that class. The Thurman Law Firm, in conjunction with some other firms, is seeking to represent individual farmers who have been injured by this conduct. There are two potential categories of plaintiffs which we are seeking: (1) farmers who purchased and planted MIR162 brands (Agrisure, Viptera, and Duracade), or (2) farmers who did not plant MIR162 corn, but still experienced a drop in corn prices due to the lower demand after China rejected it (the market price injury theory).
Currently many of these cases are being consolidated in Kansas, however, we plan on filing our cases in Missouri.
The Thurman Law Firm and its partner firms look forward to assisting our local farmers in seeking a recovery for the damages they have suffered as a result of Syngenta’s actions.