US farmers provide an invaluable service not only for Americans but for consumers worldwide by providing high quality, delicious, nutritious food crops. However, this venerable has faced a host of challenges in recent years as profit margins have shrunk, farmland has been converted into other purposes, equipment and seed costs have risen, and market prices have fallen. For many farms a single bad year can plummet their family businesses into ruin. Unfortunately this is the grave reality that numerous corn farmers have faced as a result of the Syngenta GMO corn variety known as Agrisure Viptera.
How Syngenta Damaged US Corn Growers
Syngenta is an agricultural chemical company based in Switzerland. In fact it is the largest agricultural chemical company in the world. It provides farmers with genetically modified crops that are designed to be resistant to disease and pests while also producing more abundant yield. However the GMO market is controversial and many countries require careful regulation before they will allow a GMO crop or food product into their borders. Unfortunately, that is the problem that resulted in an estimated $1 billion plus in corn crop losses due to Syngenta’s carelessness surrounding, or willful flouting of, China’s GMO regulations.
Syngenta’s corn GMO variety known as Agrisure Viptera had not been approved for import by the Chinese government, yet Syngenta downplayed the seriousness of this issue to US farmers while simultaneously marketing this unapproved crop in foreign markets. As a result when the Chinese government learned about the presence of Agrisure Viptera in US corn crops they completely ceased import of US corn. This affected all US corn farmers, not just those who had grown Agrisure Viptera. In fact only about 3% of US corn crops contained Agrisure Viptera, but since the Agrisure Viptera crops could not be distinguished from the regular crops, all US corn imports were halted.
This had disastrous ramifications for US farmers because foreign exports account for a massive amount of revenue for US farmers and China is one of the biggest markets. In fact the USDA estimates that by 2020 China will be the single largest market for US corn crops, eclipsing the US market for corn itself.
The Scope of the Syngenta Agrisure Viptera Problem
The scope of the Syngenta Agrisure Viptera problem is staggering. The National Grain and Feed Association estimates that the economic damage associated with this incident amounts to over $1 billion in losses and could reach as high as $3 billion. As a result to date there have been about 1,500 lawsuits filed against Syngenta in 20 different states including Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, South Dakota, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Arkansas, and Minnesota.
These lawsuits allege that Syngenta knew, or should have known, the impact that marketing this unapproved crop would cause and that they essentially gambled with the livelihoods of US farmers.
There Is Help Out There for Syngenta Victims
The Potts Law Firm respects and values the hard work that US farmers do for our country’s, and the world’s, food supply. We know how devastating the Syngenta loss has been to their often already strained financial outlook and we are determined to help them get the justice they deserve for this terrible loss. If you or a family member is a corn farmer and has suffered as a result of Syngenta’s carelessness or willful endangerment please contact The Potts Law Firm for a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your legal options.