Farm Horizons, Aug. 2015

Class-action lawsuits being filed against Syngenta

After corn prices dropped in 2013 and 2014, farmers and farm-related businesses have been pursuing class-action lawsuits against Syngenta, a global company that produces agriculture chemicals and seeds.

The issue surfaced in 2013, when Syngenta marketed a genetically-modified seed called Agrisure Viptera. This product had been approved in the US, but not in China. When this unapproved GMO corn was shipped overseas, China refused to accept it.

Most US farmers didn’t use Syngenta’s unapproved seeds, but their corn was mixed together during storage/shipping. As a result, China rejected all corn from the US.

Since China is the third-largest consumer of US corn products, this contributed to a decrease in the market price of US corn, regardless of variety. Material from Johnson & Becker, PLLC, and Fields Law Firm states that US corn exports were down 85 percent in 2014.

In 2014, Syngenta introduced another seed, Duracade, before approval from China.

According to an Associated Press article, agriculture-related businesses in 20 states had filed more than 360 lawsuits against Syngenta as of February 2015.

Additional information is available at, or by calling 800-901-3103.

The price of corn

Corn prices fell 40 percent in 2013, the most of all commodities in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index, according to a Bloomberg Business article.

USA Today reports that the average price of corn was a record high $6.89 per bushel in 2012, versus $4.50 per bushel in 2013.

The article states that the nation’s corn harvest was down in 2012 due to drought, sending prices up. An abundant crop the following year was stated to have contributed to the price decline in 2013.

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