Farmers around the country have filed lawsuits against Syngenta. Those suits have been filed in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.
The reason has to do with Syngenta's release of a genetically modified seed corn called Agrisure Viptera. China, a huge importer of our corn, has made it clear that it will not buy any genetically modified corn that it has not previously approved. Syngenta decided to release Viptera without waiting for China's approval, which resulted in China banning US corn, which tanked the US corn market.
Although China now accepts Viptera (and more recently agreed to accept Syngenta's Duracade), the market has not returned to the pre-release levels and is not expected to do so in the near future. The losses to the American corn industry are estimated to be as high as 3 billion dollars as a result of Syngenta's method of release of Viptera.
Syngenta's method of release unfairly damaged the US corn market.
The Federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has chosen Kansas as the center for the Syngenta litigation, where Judge John W. Lungstrum will preside. Judge Lungstrum earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review and achieved membership in the Order of the Coif, an academic honor society. He saw active service in the Army, including 13 months in Korea, winning the Army Commendation Medal.
Ward (Sam) Rouse is pursuing claims on behalf of Iowa corn farmers, and working with attorney Rick Paul from Kansas City. Rick is a nationally recognized expert in the Syngenta litigation. Rick has been appointed by Judge Lungstrum to the "leadership team" which will make executive decisions concerning the Syngenta litigation on behalf of all plaintiffs' counsel who are part of the multi-district litigation.