April 13, 2015 — Federal judges have quadrupled the size of the federal litigation involving Syngenta GMO corn, transferring another 1,400 cases into one centralized litigation in Kansas.
The Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in Kansas previously held only about 550 cases. In the last few weeks, about 530 lawsuits have been transferred from Minnesota and another 870 cases are still being moved to Kansas, according to Law360.
The transfers follow a dispute about whether the litigation should be centralized at the state or federal level.
Plaintiffs Cargill Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. argued that state-court is appropriate because Syngenta should have known that releasing a GMO seed in the United States before it was approved in China would ruin export values.
Syngenta argued that federal court was appropriate because the litigation involves accusations of an “international trade incident,” and they want a federal judge to explore the legality of China’s sovereign act of rejecting their GMO seed.
The genetically modified (GMO) seed in question, Agrisure Viptera or MIR162, was only planted on a small percentage of American corn acres. However, it rapidly tainted much of the nation’s crop due to cross-pollinations and cross-contamination on grain elevators.
Syngenta aggressively sued grain elevators that refused to carry the seed. Farmers also say Syngenta misled them about the imminent approval of GMO corn in China.
The “imminent” approval did not come until December 2014, five years after Syngenta asked for approval. In the meantime, China rejected 1.45 million metric tons of corn and American farmers lost an estimated $3 billion.
Lawyers accuse Syngenta of recklessly marketing their seed without regard for the livelihood of farmers.
While Syngenta was marketing GMO corn in the United States, a nearly-identical economic scenario was playing out with GMO rice seed. In 2011, Bayer settled lawsuits on behalf of 11,000 American rice farmers for about $750 million, according to Bloomberg.
Do I have a Syngenta GMO Corn Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting cases in all 50 states. If you are a corn farmer or exporter who had economic losses when China rejected imports of Syngenta GMO corn, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Class Action Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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