February 3rd, 2015|
Switzerland-based Syngenta AG, the world’s largest crop chemicals company, faces numerous lawsuits regarding its sale, marketing, and promotion of a genetically modified corn seed known as Agrisure Viptera. This corn seed contains a genetically modified trait known as “MIR162,” which reportedly controls insects and results in a higher crop yield for corn farmers.
Plaintiffs across the country allege that Syngenta wrongfully promoted and sold its Agrisure Viptera corn seed, even though corn containing the MIR162 trait had not yet been approved by China for import into that country. China is a major importer of U.S. corn. Once China detected MIR162 in U.S. corn, it began rejecting shipments of U.S. corn, resulting in a devastating downturn in the U.S. corn market. This market downturn affected U.S. corn farmers and others involved in this country’s corn industry. While China has since approved import of Syngenta’s AgrisureViptera with MIR162, the economic damages suffered as a result of the initial rejection remain.
The litigation currently involves more than 175 lawsuits filed in eight different federal court districts. Due to the common issues of fact among these cases, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) has consolidated these cases for pre-trial proceedings before the Honorable John W. Lungstrum of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
The JPML stated in its Order that consolidation of these cases will conserve resources, eliminate duplicative discovery and avoid inconsistent rulings.
More information can be found on the website for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
Attorneys with Cory Watson are representing farmers and other parties who have suffered losses as a result of the impact the Syngenta corn seed issue has had on the corn market