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GMO Corn Fight Heats Up as Syngenta Sues Grain-Traders

November 20, 2015 — Reuters reports that the two largest grain-traders in the United States have been sued by Syngenta AG as the battle over billions of dollars in losses from GMO corn intensifies.

“The lion’s share of the duty falls on the grain trade,” a lawyer for Syngenta told the Wall Street Journal.

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Kansas, Syngenta blames Cargill Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. for failing to separate GMO corn from non-GMO corn and shipping the mixed grain to China to take advantage of high grain prices.

Syngenta began marketing GMO corn to American corn farmers in 2010. The seed rapidly contaminated much of the nation’s supply due to cross-contamination and cross-pollination on adjacent fields.

Syngenta also aggressively sued corn exporters who refused to handle the grain, including Bunge North America. They dropped the lawsuit in December 2014, just days before China approved imports of the seed.

In late 2013, China rejected imports of GMO-tainted corn. At the time, China was the 3rd-largest customer for American corn. The price plummeted and the American corn industry lost up to $3 billion. After China approved GMO corn imports in December 2014, the price returned to previous levels. However, exports to China are still down 85% this year.

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