- Farmers lost billions of dollars through no fault of their own. It is right that they should recover their losses.
- Syngenta should not keep its profits from prematurely marketing unapproved GMO corn when its conduct cost U.S. corn farmers billions of dollars.
- Filing a lawsuit is a Constitutionally guaranteed right.
- This GMO corn lawsuit will send a message to Syngenta and other seed companies that they should not put farmers at risk in an effort to achieve higher profits.
U.S. corn farmers lost billions of dollars in 2013 and 2014 as a result of Syngenta’s premature commercialization of MIR 162, a genetically modified corn trait that had not been approved by all of our major trade partners. These losses were foreseeable to Syngenta.
The National Grain and Feed Association (“NGFA”) twice warned Syngenta that selling MIR 162 corn seed before obtaining approval from our major export partners could cause a meltdown of the U.S. corn export market. Despite these warnings, Syngenta ploughed ahead.
In 2013, Syngenta achieved revenues from the sale of its corn products in an amount exceeding $3.5 billion. It is estimated that MIR 162 corn comprised approximately 25% of Syngenta’s corn sales that year.
Syngenta made money from the sale of MIR 162 corn seed, while U.S. corn farmers were left holding the bag. Given these facts, it is right and proper that farmers be permitted to recover their losses from a company that profited from its own misconduct.
Corn farmers are filing suit against Syngenta in accordance with their Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury in civil cases. Many of our forefathers, including Thomas Jefferson, refused to agree to our Constitution until this right was included in the Bill of Rights. This right should be just as dear to us as our First Amendment right to the freedom of speech. The right to a trial by jury was tailor-made for citizens like the American corn farmer seeking redress against companies like Syngenta before a jury of their peers.
One legitimate purpose of civil litigation is to dissuade companies from conducting their affairs as Syngenta did in this case. When Syngenta chose to take a risk on the back of the American corn farmer, it did so intentionally. This GMO corn lawsuit will send a message to Syngenta and other seed companies not to put farmers at risk in an effort to achieve increased profits, and it will go a long way in assuring that this conduct will never occur again.
* 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.