Class Action Status for Syngenta GMO Corn Case, District Judge Says

Reuters writerĀ Karl Plume reported yesterday that, “A U.S. district court judge in Kansas this week said lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers against seed company Syngenta AG over sales of biotech corn seeds not approved for import by China can proceed as a class action, according to a court filing.

“Farmers from the largest U.S. corn-producing states sued the seed maker in 2014 after grain shipments containing traces of Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera corn were rejected by China, which had not approved the variety for import before it was launched.

Farmers who did not plant Viptera corn claimed they suffered losses when the rejections that began in November 2013 disrupted trade and dragged down corn prices. Plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate hundreds of thousands of corn growers lost $5 billion to $7 billion in current and future profits.”

Mr. Plume indicated that, “Judge John Lungstrum certified a nationwide class and statewide classes in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.”

Yesterday’s article added that, “Syngenta has said it is not responsible for the losses and that it launched Viptera corn in full compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements. The Swiss company is a major agricultural seed producer and the world’s largest crop chemical maker.

“The company said it may appeal the District Court’s decision.”

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