Syngenta was sued by several of the top corn producers in the country for supposedly causing damage to the corn industry in the United States. Syngenta did so by selling a seed of corn known as MIR 162 that had been treated with the pesticide, Agrisure Viptera, which did not have approval for exportation to China, one of three biggest U.S. corn importers.
The farmers that produced the Viptera Corn in the growth season of 2014 were included in the mass tort concerning Syngenta corn as plaintiffs. Other plaintiffs in the mass tort were exporters of corn, brokers, storage facilities, and other entities involved in the corn industry in the United States. The group of plaintiffs make the claim that if they knew that the corn would be rejected by China, they would not have become involved in the purchase, planting, harvesting, or selling of the corn.
Officials in China rejected U.S. corn by the millions of tons until recently because of the fear related to receiving the genetically modified MIR 162 seed of corn, which contains Viptera, a known pesticide. The genetically modified strain of corn was engineered as being protected against such things as corn earworms and black cutworms.
Syngenta Viptera Corn Seed
The Viptera seed was sold by Syngenta to U.S. farmers as early as 2010, as well as being approved the same year in South American countries like Argentina and Brazil. Allegedly unbeknownst to the U.S. farmers, the seed did not gain approval in China, which created one to three billion dollars in losses in 2013-2014 season of harvest. The country of China found the Viptera corn strain in several U.S. shipments in November of 2013. Consequently, the country began rejecting corn imported from the United States in February of 2014. As of October 2015, the country of China had rejected more than 130 million bushels imported from the U.S.