SYNGENTA’S IMPACT ON YOU
As an American corn grower, you are part of the most productive agricultural community in history. Corn is big business in the United States. Collectively you & your neighbors are the largest exporters of corn in the world. As a result of exceeding domestic demand, you are dependent on foreign markets to balance supply and demand forces here at home.
We feel that documents will show that Syngenta made a calculated decision to ignore the National Grain and Feed Association and other warnings. Syngenta actually filed suit against international shipping giant Bunge who attempted to discourage farmers from unloading the unapproved MIR 162 corn at terminals in Nebraska.
By NFGA estimates, Syngenta’s actions caused more than 5 billion dollars in damage to the US corn market & farmers like you.
INTRODUCTION TO VIPTERA
In 2009, Syngenta released a genetically engineered corn trait, MIR162, into the U.S. market. Its first generation of MIR162 corn was known as Agrisure Viptera. Agrisure varieties have been genetically engineered to protect corn against damage from insects such as the corn borer and corn rootworm.
Viptera was marketed and introduced to the U.S. market without import approval from China secured. Despite this, Syngenta maintained that approval was imminent. In April 2012, Syngenta’s CEO stated, “On the import approval, it has import approval in all of the major markets. There isn’t outstanding approval for China, which we expect to have quite frankly within the matter of a couple of days.” However, import approval was not ultimately granted until December 2014.
BILLIONS IN DAMAGES
Without approval of the new corn trait, China destroyed multiple shipments of genetically modified corn from the U.S. At least one media outlet reported that several large shipments were destroyed by the Chinese government.
Subsequently, in November 2013, China, one of the world’s largest corn importers, began rejecting U.S. corn shipments because they contained a genetically modified variety that has not been approved. The discovery of Syngenta AG’s Agrisure Viptera corn in the shipment dragged on global prices and, by the end of 2013, over 545,000 tons of U.S. corn had been rejected by China.
By April 2014, the rejected corn tonnage had reached 1,450,000. China was not the only country that rejected this GMO corn. 3.3 million metric tons of U.S. corn were rejected globally as of March 2014. The export market disruptions with China cost U.S. farmers billions of dollars. More importantly, more than 30% of our export partners have banned genetically modified crops.
Industry Leaders File Lawsuits
In September 2014, Cargill filed a lawsuit against Syngenta over their commercialization of MIR162 before receiving import approval. Also in September 2014, Trans Coastal Supply Co, a major exporter of livestock feed, filed a lawsuit alleging damages of $41 million because of Syngenta’s actions. In November 2014, Archer-Daniels Midland announced they would take legal action against Syngenta, saying the company didn’t take “reasonable stewardship practices.”
There are currently lawsuits pending against Syngenta in 22 states due to their commercialization of MIR162 without import approval from China. Today, thousands of corn farmers across the United States have filed suit to ensure their voice is heard.