In the 2012/13 fiscal year, China was the third largest export market for U.S. corn, at 5 million tons. Since its inspectors started turning away shipments showing traces of corn containing the MIR162 trait, China’s purchases of U.S. corn have fallen by 85 percent, and helped drive corn prices to a five-year low. In an April 2014 report, the National Grain and Feed Association (“NGFA”) estimated that China’s ban on the Syngenta GMO Corn had already cost $2.9 billion in economic losses to the U.S. corn, distillers grains and soy sectors. The organization also estimated that U.S. growers, grain handlers and exporters could suffer an economic impact of up to $3.4 billion during the fiscal year that started September 1, 2014.
Syngenta, a corporation specializing in the genetic modification of plants and seeds, created, marketed and sold corn plants and seeds containing the genetically modified MIR162 trait. The MIR162 trait was designed to make plants resistant to such pests as corn borers, black cutworm and corn rootworm. Syngenta has marketed and sold genetically modified corn seed bearing the MIR162 trait under the trade names of Viptera™ (2011) and Duracade™ (2014). Corn and corn products containing the MIR162 trait have not been approved for import by the Chinese government, and China currently has a zero-tolerance policy on any imports containing the MIR162 trait. This has resulted in the Chinese government rejecting, impounding, or destroying entire shipments of imported U.S. corn which tested positive for trace amounts of corn containing the MIR162 trait.
Even farmers who did not plant seed containing the MIR162 trait, may have suffered losses. Due to cross-pollination, Syngenta’s own side-by-side planting recommendation, and the method by which corn is grown, harvested, and distributed, the MIR162 trait can be found in essentially every exported shipment of U.S. Corn. As such China has rejected all shipments of U.S. Corn containing the MIR162 trait, costing farmers, shippers, grain elevators, and the entire U.S. Corn industry billions of dollars.
WHO HAS A CLAIM?
Heninger Garrison Davis GMO corn lawyers is investigating claims of economic and financial loss from exporters, distributors and farmers of corn and DDGS from across the US. Click here to see a list of potentially affected areas in the United States.
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