Syngenta

CORN PRODUCTION IN U.S.

  • The US accounts for nearly 41% of global corn production
    • US exports about 20% of its production to other countries
    • In 2012, China was the THIRD LARGEST export market for US corn
      • Was projected to meet or exceed these numbers in 2013 & 2014

SYNGENTA GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN

  • Syngenta is in business of developing and selling, in interstate commerce, corn seed which includes certain genetically engineered traits.
    • In 2009, MIR162, was released into the US market
      • 1st Generation of MIR162 known as “Viptera
      • 2nd Generation of MIR162 known as “Duracade
  • MIR162 has a genetically modified protein that allegedly make corn plants more resistant to insects and other pests
  • The seed has been approved by the US, Brazil, Argentina and others
  • Duracade has not been approved by the Chinese government, Viptera was approved on December 17, 2014.

CONTAMINATION OF THE US CORN SUPPLY

  • Corn replicates by cross-pollination from one plant to another.  Pollen drifts from plant to plant and cross-breeds with other corn plants.
    • Due to side-by-side planting, the amount of MIR162 that would appear in the US corn supply increased.
    • The US corn marketing system is commodity-based and gathers, commingles, and ships corn from hundreds of thousands of farms through local, regional, and terminal grain elevators.
      • As a result, many varieties of corn harvested in the US are not segregated in storage and transportation causing further MIR162 contamination
      • While only a very small percentage of US farmers plant MIR162 corn (only planted on about 3% of US acres), the risk of contamination due to cross-pollination and/or after commingling and consolidation for export is too high

CHINA’s REJECTION OF US CORN SHIPMENTS

  • Because it was not approved, China, in November 2013, stopped importing US corn when it detects any trace of MIR162 in US shipments
    • Chinese imports of US corn has decreased by an estimated 85%
    • Because a vast majority of US corn has been excluded from being exported to the 3rd largest export market, US farmers have suffered significant damages as corn prices have dropped
  • The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) found that Chinese rejection of US corn, which resulted solely from concerns that MIR162 had infiltrated the entire US corn supply, has lowered corn prices by at least 11 cents per bushel, leading to a projected loss of at least $1.14 Billion for the last nine months of the marketing year ending on August 31, 2014.