Corn farmers across the county have collectively filed more than 20,000 lawsuits against Syngenta. In 2010, Syngenta released GMO seed before it was approved by some export markets, most notably China. That GMO corn later found its way into the general corn supply and was loaded on barges headed for China. China ultimately rejected the GMO corn, but because it was comingled with approved varieties, all US Corn exports to China were halted. Farmers, as well as major corn processors – including ADM and Cargill – allege that the embargo caused a collapse in the market price of corn.
Many of the lawsuits filed against Syngenta are pending in a state court in Minnesota, Syngenta’s home state. Syngenta moved to dismiss the cases, but the court denied the motion, finding that Syngenta owed a legal duty to farmers to exercise reasonable care in the sale and promotion of its GMO seed. Those cases will now proceed to discovery, and likely trial. Cases filed in the federal courts are being transferred to the District Court in Kansas. Syngenta has similarly moved to dismiss the federal cases, but no decision has been issued yet.
If you’re a Michigan corn farmer and you priced corn for sale after November 2013, you are automatically part of the class action lawsuit. To learn more about your options and how the lawsuit affects you, please give us a call.