ECONOMY

1st farmer lawsuit on deck against Syngenta over China trade

The first of tens of thousands of U.S. lawsuits is about to go to trial against Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its decision to introduce a genetically engineered corn variety to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports.

The lawsuits allege Syngenta's move wrecked an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn.

Court filings show Syngenta aggressively marketed the seeds even when it knew Chinese approval was going to be a problem.

Plaintiffs' experts estimate the damage at around $5 billion. Syngenta denies caused any losses.

The first test case goes to trial Monday in Minneapolis. The second begins in Kansas City, Kansas, on June 5.

The two cases are meant to provide guidance for how the complex web of litigation could be resolved.