Michael Mack, Chief Executive Officer of Syngenta, has given a number of speeches and statements on its MIR 162 products Viptera and Duracade since 2012:
April 18, 2012
“VIPTERA is our first truly distinctive insect trade. There is an outstanding approval for China, which we expect to have quite frankly within the matter of a couple of days.”
July 26, 2012
Lucy Watson – Jefferies: And just lastly, are there any updates on the importation approval for [Agrisure Viptera] from China? Thank you.
Mike Mack: And your final question, Lucy, on [Viptera]; we’re expecting at this point today a fourth-quarter registration from China but I think the important thing is, you know, it didn’t affect our sales in this past season, Viptera, and we don’t expect it to have any impact on our sales this coming season. So the response from growers on the quality of this trait is terrific.
April 18, 2013
“In February, we received USDA approval for Agrisure Duracade, enabling us to move ahead with launch in time for the 2014 season. This is our fourth proprietary corn trait introduction in six years, demonstrating the power of our biotech innovation.”
October 17, 2013
“We’re targeting sales of $25 billion in 2020 for our eight key crops. This equates to continuing a compound annual growth rate of 8%. And here we are at $4.60 corn and compare that to $7.70 corn not all that long ago, and yet demand for our products and demand for the technology around the world continues to grow.”
April 16, 2014
Mike Mack: I think you mentioned China. From a regulatory point of view nothing has changed over there. We continue to await approval, but we have nothing final. I think it is fair to say at this point in time that we don’t have — that we will not have any approval before the start of the season. That’s for sure. Viptera as a percentage of the portfolio is about 30 percent. Duracade is in its introductory year, its launch year, and it, for all intents and purposes, is and has been completely sold out. It’s going to go on to between 250,000 and 300,000 acres. We implemented a growers’ stewardship program with Gavilon, which is going to put that Duracade into the hands of local elevators. And farmers have appreciated that and that all is going fine. No surprise, the China situation has not helped the evolution, further evolution of Viptera.
Laurence Alexander – Jefferies: On Viptera, has there been any discussion of this year giving your farmers some insurance about if crop gets rejected from China sharing any losses with Syngenta? There’s been some discussion in the US about whether that might be one approach to look at.
Mike Mack: First, on the Viptera, I’m not sure I understand, completely understand the question beyond to say that farmers don’t have any exposure whatsoever to Chinese corn rejection. When they sell their corn into an elevator, the elevator then sells it on to a grain trader where, if and where there is any financial exposure from a rejection, that’s between the two parties, the importer and the exporter of corn. The farmers don’t involve themselves in that. So with respect to indemnifying a farmer, backstopping their losses, there’s no need for Syngenta to do that because the farmer doesn’t have any exposure to that.
February 4, 2015
“The seeds business generated 45% gross margin in 2014 and we have a number of initiatives underway that will substantially improve the margin of the seeds business by 2018.”
As this litigation proceeds, we will undertake in-depth research to collect everything Michael Mack and other executives at Syngenta have said regarding Viptera and Duracade. Based on the limited statements we have already collected, stockholders of Syngenta should be concerned that large punitive damages verdicts soon will be coming Syngenta’s way.
* 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.