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Syngenta corn lawsuits underway

The first of several lawsuits filed against Syngenta is underway.

Syngenta is facing dozens of lawsuits that claim a move by the company depressed corn prices in 2013.

The farmers involved claim Syngenta’s selling of a corn trait that was not approved to export to China, and found in shipments of U.S. corn to China, depressed U.S. corn prices and cost farmers millions of dollars in lost sales, according to Bloomberg News.

Syngenta denies that China’s rejection of its GMO seeds harmed farmers in any way, saying it was the huge corn crop in 2013 that pushed prices lower.

In June, Syngenta faces trial in a class-action lawsuit brought by Kansas farmers seeking $200 million, plus punitive damages. Another trial involving Minnesota farmers claiming $600 million in damages is set for August.

Winning the lawsuit may be a tough sell, according to an ag-policy expert, who said the company had a green light from U.S. regulators to sell the GMO corn and there was no requirement to wait for Chinese officials’ approval to market the trait to U.S. farmers.

A lawyer for Syngenta called the claims “speculative, at best.”

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