China Ceases Importing US Corn after Detecting GMO in Shipments

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( — October 7, 2014)  — MIR162 genetically-modified corn known as Agrisure Viptera, is engineered to fend off certain insects known to decimate corn crops. While approved for use in the United States, Chinese government prohibits import of Viptera from US.

Several US agro-companies along with the lead plaintiff Volnek, in a lawsuit filed in a Nebraska Federal Court, seeks $1 billion in compensation.

According to Volnek Farms, the move led to “depressed prices for all domestic corn.”

The two other suits were filed in Iowa and Illinois Federal Courts, according to Courthouse News.

“Syngenta offered materially misleading statements relating to the approval status of MIR162 in China and the impact the lack of approval would have on the market,” said Iowa plaintiffs Cronin Inc. and Jim Ruba Jr., and added that they do not even plant genetically-modified corn.

“Syngenta’s widespread contamination of the US corn and corn seed supply with MIR162, which will continue to foreclose the US export market to China in future years and will continue to lead to lower corn prices per bushel in the US market, as a result,” the Iowa plaintiffs added.

“It is difficult to say for sure that any shipments of US corn will not be contaminated with trace amounts of MIR162, even though Viptera has been planted on only about three percent of US farm acreage,” the Nebraska plaintiffs said.

The vast majority of corn produced in the US is used domestically, estimated the National Grain and Feed Association, so export is not that important, however, the USDA says 20 percent of corn produced in the US is exported.

These conflicting accounts led to accusations by Iowa plaintiffs that Syngenta has engaged in willful misrepresentation.

China had barred nearly 1.45 million tons of corn shipments since 2013, resulting in about $427 million in lost sales, as RT reported.

Chinese officials recently decide to move away from GMO food. China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced in August, it would stop a program that developed GE rice and corn.