In response to being sued in GMO corn lawsuits by over 7,000 farmers Syngenta says it complied with industry standards at the time. It also argues the drop in corn prices pre-dated China’s rejection of U.S. corn and claims that China’s volume of corn purchases was not significant enough to cause such a dramatic drop in prices. Instead, Syngenta blames the drop in corn prices on other factors.
Syngenta has been sued by over 7,000 farmers, grain elevators and corn exporters. Not surprisingly, Syngenta is contending that it is innocent of the allegations described in these lawsuits. Syngenta’s website contains a page, setting forth its arguments in these cases entitled “Key Facts About Viptera China Lawsuits.” Its arguments are quoted below:
Key Facts About Viptera China Lawsuits
- Syngenta believes the Viptera China lawsuits have no merit.
- We commercialized Agrisure Viptera in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements and independent third-party statements support our belief about the lawsuits.
- When we launched in 2010, the Agrisure Viptera trait had received approval in the key import markets recommended at the time by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and other industry associations. At the time, China had been mainly an exporter in corn.
- According to USDA, the commodity price of corn declined 32% (from $6.79 to $4.63 a bushel) between July and October 2013—prior to China’s rejection of U.S. corn in November 2013.
- Overall, most corn produced in the United States is used domestically. According to the USDA, exports account for a relatively small portion of demand for U.S. corn—about 15 percent. US exports to China represent an even smaller amount —less than 1% of US corn is exported to China.
- In the past, other trait technology providers such as Dow and Monsanto have launched U.S.-approved corn traits in the U.S. without waiting for Chinese import approval.
- Launching Agrisure Viptera was important to ensure growers had access to the latest technology approved in the U.S. and key import markets. Over this time, Agrisure Viptera has demonstrated major benefits for growers, preventing significant yield and grain quality losses resulting from damage by a broad spectrum of lepidopteron pests.
- As everyone knows, commodity corn prices have declined since the summer of 2013 for other reasons such as the bumper corn crop here and elsewhere, including China.
- S. exports of DDGs have actually increased since the time Agrisure Viptera was commercialized, but prices have changed due to other factors, including factors such as supply and demand (U.S. Exports of Corn-Based Products Continue to Climb).
Viptera Has Been Approved For Import In China
On December 22, 2014, China approved importation of Agrisure Viptera corn. China now joins a host of countries where Viptera is approved for import.
Syngenta applied for import approval into China in March 2010. Since then, Syngenta has worked closely with China’s Ministry of Agriculture, and has been steadfast that the product should be approved. This website will provide U.S. corn growers and others with facts and clarity on the approval process.
Viptera has been approved in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico and several other countries since 2010. Viptera won import approval in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2011, and in 2012 Viptera imports were approved by the European Union.
In a world with a growing population, the equation is simple: More control over insects equals a safer, more reliable food supply for a hungry planet.
* This information is provided to supply relevant information concerning the GMO corn lawsuit, and should not be received as legal advice. Legal advice is only given to persons or entities with whom Watts Guerra LLP has established an attorney-client relationship. If you have another lawyer in the GMO Corn lawsuit, you should consult with your own attorney, and rely upon his or her advice, rather than the information contained herein.