On June 23, 2017, a jury awarded almost $281MM to 7,000 Kansas farmers. This was the first of eight state class action lawsuits certified in this Multi-District Litigation so far. The other certified state class action lawsuits involve Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota corn producers. Numerous other state class action lawsuits in this matter are awaiting certification.
Syngenta made billions selling two genetically modified strains of corn to U.S. farmers even though Syngenta knew those genetically modified strains would hurt U.S. farmers. Let us explain.
The price of U.S. corn depends on U.S. corn farmers’ access to foreign markets. Syngenta and the rest of bio-technology industry recognize that if they sell genetically modified seeds in the U.S. before those seeds are approved by major export markets like China, those markets will reject U.S. crops and hurt U.S. farmers by dropping corn prices. For this reason, Syngenta refers to corn farmers as “stakeholders” in its business. The bio-tech industry has developed “Stewardship Standards” that address this risk to U.S. farmers.
Despite this knowledge of the risk posed to farmers, Syngenta sold two genetically modified corn seeds – Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade — before those seeds were approved by China. In order to convince corn farmers to buy these seeds, Syngenta reassured farmers that China would approve these products “within a matter of days.” Syngenta’s statements were false – China only recently approved Agrisure Viptera, and Agrisure Duracade is still not approved.
While Syngenta made billions from selling Viptera, and Duracade, the results have been catastrophic for U.S. corn farmers.In November of 2013, China stopped importing corn grown by U.S. farmers, and the price of corn plummeted.
This lawsuit is about making sure that Syngenta pays for the damage it did to the U.S. corn market rather than U.S. farmers. Read about the Lawsuits we have filed to reclaim your lost income.
In the LLRice case, several key export markets rejected shipments of rice that contained Bayer’s LLRice. Initially the European Union issued an emergency declaration prohibiting the importation of any rice from the United States. Other key export markets issued similar decrees. Eventually the European Union allowed shipments of rice from the United States as long as those shipments tested negative for LLRice when they arrived in Europe. In this case, the Chinese authorities found Syngenta’s Viptera in shipments of U.S. corn and rejected the shipments. Additionally, the Chinese authorities issued an embargo prohibiting the importation of any corn from the United States. That embargo is still in effect. Like the LLRice case, the loss of the Chinese export market has caused significant market loss damages to corn farmers. The lack of a Chinese market decreased overall demand for U.S. corn supplies, resulting in lower prices farmers could, and can, obtain for their crop.
You can access a printable version of these questions here.
In advising your clients about this litigation you should consider the advantage of participating in our litigation without filing an individual case against Syngenta where your client’s name is on the Complaint vs participating without filing an individual case. Filing an individual action exposes your farmer to the very real potential of intensive discovery, deposition and production of personal and financial records.
We are currently working with counsel from across the corn belt who have placed their trust in us by referring their farmer clients, often neighbors and friends, to us. Read More about how we can work together.