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GMO Corn Lawsuits; Potential Loss For U.S. Farmers Reaches Billions

On December 22, 2014, the JPML (“Joint Panel on Multi-district Litigation”) established a MDL in the US District Court of Kansas (Kansas City) for all federal lawsuits. The court’s website summarizes the case as,

“These cases concern the Syngenta defendants’ decision to commercialize corn seeds containing a genetically modified trait, known as ‘MIR 162,’ that reportedly controls certain insects. Corn with this trait has entered U.S. corn stocks but has not been approved for import by the Chinese government, which has imposed a complete ban on U.S. corn with this trait. . . . Plaintiffs are corn growers and a grain exporter who suffered economic losses resulting from China’s refusal to accept MIR162 corn. All actions involve common factual questions regarding Syngenta’s decision to commercialize the MIR162 genetically modified corn trait in the absence of Chinese approval to import corn with that trait.” (footnote omitted.)”

A trade organization has stated the potential losses industry wide could reach as much as $2.9 Billion dollars. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) has stated,

“up to $2.9 billion in economic losses have been sustained by the U.S. corn, distillers grains and soy sectors in the aftermath of the enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy on Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera™ MIR 162 corn technology in U.S. export shipments to China, where the trait has not been approved yet for import as food or feed.”

Mike Sudekum and Mandel & Mandel, LLP are currently investigating claims of farmers who grew corn in 2013-2014. More information can be found on the website.