Published September 18, 2017
A test lawsuit goes to trial in Minneapolis Monday against Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta for introducing a genetically-engineered corn variety before China approved it for imports.
The case alleges Viptera corn wrecked an important export market for U.S. corn and hurt prices. But Syngenta says the 2013 price drop resulted from larger market forces, not China's rejection of Viptera.
The trial had been set for May. It would have been the first of tens of thousands of cases to go to trial. But the Minnesota trial got delayed, so a lawsuit in Kansas went first, resulting in a $218 million award to Kansas farmers. Syngenta is appealing. In a third case, an Ohio judge backed Syngenta.
The test cases are meant to provide guidance for resolving the complex litigation.