Special to the Illinois Business Journal
ALTON — Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC is investigating the rights of farmers, grain exporters and other industry partners in connection with China's rejection of U.S. corn and distiller's dried grains with solubles shipments due to the presence of the genetically modified corn Agrisure Viptera, manufactured by Syngenta Seeds Inc.
Farmers and other businesses already have filed lawsuits against Syngenta, the world's largest crop chemicals company, which introduced Viptera and Duracade into the U.S. corn supply. Although approved in the United States, neither Viptera nor its second-generation corn seed Duracade are approved by China for import.
Cases revolve around the fact that Syngenta encouraged farmers to plant Viptera and Duracade seeds before having approval that China, a major importer of U.S. corn, would accept the genetically modified product. The practice cross-pollinated the U.S. corn supply, reducing the amount of U.S. corn accepted by China, resulting in a glut of corn and a reduction in corn prices. The lawsuits claim that Syngenta's actions wrecked the U.S. corn export market to China and financially harmed corn farmers, agribusinesses and exporters who did not plant the Viptera or Duracade corn seed.
"There is a huge amount of interest in this issue in the agribusiness community, and rightfully so, since the entire corn market has suffered from China's refusal to accept shipments of corn with any traces of Viptera," said Paul J. Hanly, Jr., a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy. "The number of GMO corn lawsuits continues to grow and we are aggressively enforcing the rights of farmers and others whose businesses and livelihoods have been harmed by this action."
The National Grain and Feed Association released an estimate in April 2014 stating that China's decision to reject U.S. corn and distiller's dried grains with solubles shipments as a result of Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera MIR 162 corn has resulted in $2.9 billion in losses to U.S. corn, dried grains shipments and soy sectors.
About Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC
Simmons Hanly Conroy is one of the largest plaintiffs' law firms in Illinois, which is the nation's second largest corn-producing state behind Iowa. The firm currently represents multiple farmers and related businesses in lawsuits against Syngenta.
The firm is one of the nation's largest mass tort law firms and has recovered more than $5 billion in verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs. Primary areas of litigation include asbestos and mesothelioma, pharmaceutical, consumer protection, environmental and personal injury. The firm's attorneys have been appointed to leadership in numerous national multidistrict litigations, including Vioxx, Yaz and Toyota Unintended Acceleration. The firm also represents small and mid-size corporations, inventors and entrepreneurs in matters involving intellectual property infringement and business litigation. Offices are located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Alton, Ill. Read more at www.simmonsfirm.com.