US Farmers Allege Deception by Agrochemical Giant: The Case Against Syngenta

Friday, February 19, 2016

From Indiana to Louisiana, a movement among thousands of corn farmers in the United States is trying to hold a Swiss GMO agribusiness giant to account for willful deceit and is making steady progress in court. According to these lawsuits - which may soon become class action - Syngenta, one of the world's largest agrochemical companies, deliberately misled small farmers into thinking that the genetically modified Viptera corn it was pushing on them would be approved for export to China. When China's unpredictable import authorities held off on granting approval and then turned back a shipment that contained Syngenta's genetically modified crop, the glut of excess corn that farmers had on their hands caused prices to crash and resulted in nearly $6 billion in damages.

"I was really upset that this happened," said Susan Taylor, a farm owner. "You work in good faith and you expect producers to act in good faith." According to one lawyerinvolved in the case, "This is by far the largest agricultural lawsuit we've had in the US." Tens of thousands of farmers spread across 22 states have already filed claims against Syngenta, and that number is expected to keep growing.

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