The federal judge overseeing the Syngenta Viptera lawsuits recently dismissed the seed company's lawsuits against exporters that handled shipments of the genetically modified corn variety.
U.S. District Court Judge John Lungstrum on Monday dismissed Syngenta’s recent counterclaim against ADM, Cargill and Rail Transfer Inc. Syngenta’s claim asserted the grain handlers were also at fault for allowing MIR 162 corn ( known as Agrisure Viptera) to enter Chinese markets prior to trait approval by China.
The judge concluded federal regulations already govern handling and inspection of U.S. grain. “It is, therefore, ordered by the court that the motion to dismiss defendants’ (Syngenta) counterclaims and third-party complaints filed by ADM, Cargill and Rain Transfer.”
Farmer lawsuits against Syngenta will continue.
“Syngenta will continue to defend itself in the Viptera China lawsuits in order to protect the right of American farmers to have access to safe, effective, U.S.-approved technologies like Agrisure Viptera,” says Paul Minehart, head of corporate communications at Syngenta.
Farmers suing Syngenta are seeking damages for financial losses they claim they suffered when the company marketed Viptera prior to Chinese approval. These plaintiffs contend the 131 million bu. rejection interrupted trade and lowered commodity prices, costing an estimated $3 billion according to the National Grain and Feed Association.
Do you think grain handlers bear any responsibility for Viptera being shipped to--and rejected by--China? Let us know in the comments.