Viptera Corn Class-Action Case Set for June

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported last week that, “The first trial in a number of class-action lawsuits against Syngenta over the release of Viptera corn, has been set for June 5 in a federal court in Kansas City, Kansas.

“A court order was issued Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

“Syngenta genetically engineered MIR162 corn under the brand name Agrisure Viptera to control above-ground pests.”

Mr. Neeley noted that, “Syngenta is dealing with multiple lawsuits claiming the company should have inspected and prevented harvested Viptera (MIR 162) corn from being shipped to China in 2013 and 2014. Plaintiffs in the case allege Syngenta sold Agrisure Viptera and Duracade (a separate trait to control corn rootworm), causing significant losses to corn farmers across the country.

“All farmers in the United States who priced corn for sale after Nov. 18, 2013, were approved last fall as a major class in the ongoing lawsuit.”

The DTN article added that, “Numerous other Syngenta trials also will be scheduled in the Kansas court, in a Minnesota state court and in other courts as well.

“In an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit last year, Syngenta argued the lower court judge erred in setting a nationwide class of farmers because that would include farmers not actually harmed by the release.

“The court fights began for Syngenta after developing MIR162 genetic traits marketed under the brand name Viptera. USDA deregulated Viptera in 2010. Syngenta moved ahead to commercially sell the seeds even though they have not been approved in China. In November 2013, China began rejecting any U.S. corn exports that tested positive for MIR162.”

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