Court Issues Order on Motion to Dismiss
As many of you have now heard, the Federal Court presiding over the Viptera China litigation in Kansas has issued an order regarding Syngenta’s Motion to Dismiss. A “Motion to Dismiss” is a preliminary step in which the Court evaluates whether a lawsuit can proceed but is legally required to take the plaintiffs’ allegations at face value. Although it is rare for Motions to Dismiss to be granted, Syngenta was successful in convincing the Court to dismiss a number of the plaintiffs’ claims. It is important to note that the Court did not rule that the remaining claims have merit, only that they could proceed. The plaintiffs will now have to actually prove those claims with real evidence.
Syngenta continues to believe the lawsuits are without merit and we will continue to defend the rights of American farmers to have access to safe, effective, U.S.-approved technologies like Agrisure Viptera. We commercialized Viptera in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements, and USDA statistics make clear that the commodity price of corn declined before China’s rejection of U.S. corn in November 2013.
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About Viptera Lawsuits
SYNGENTA IS AN INNOVATOR
- Syngenta is one of the leading trait providers in the world.
- We bring traits to market to increase farmers’ yields and profits.
- We invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and commercialize each trait.
- With Syngenta, growers have a greater choice in options for traits and genetics.
AGRISURE VIPTERA (MIR162) IS AN EFFECTIVE PRODUCT
- Launching Agrisure Viptera was important to ensuring growers had access to the latest technology approved in the U.S. and key import markets.
- Agrisure Viptera has demonstrated major benefits for growers, preventing significant losses in yield and grain quality that could have resulted from damage by a broad range of lepidopteron pests.
- Agrisure Viptera provides best-in-industry above-ground insect protection – covering a broad spectrum of important pests.
- Agrisure Viptera provides a 7.3 bushel/acre yield increase, sustained year on year. In addition, using Agrisure Viptera has produced significant improvements in grain quality.
SYNGENTA LAUNCHED AGRISURE VIPTERA APPROPRIATELY
- We commercialized Agrisure Viptera in 2010 in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements including USDA, EPA, and FDA.
- The National Corn Growers Association and other key stakeholders did not consider China to be a key export market at the time Agrisure Viptera was launched.
- For the 50 years preceding the Agrisure Viptera launch, China had been mainly a corn export market, and it remains a secondary market for U.S. corn. Less than 1% of U.S. corn is exported to China.
- The grain trade entered into contracts with China knowing that Agrisure Viptera had not yet been approved for China import, thereby accepting responsibility for any rejected shipments.
- Syngenta has been fully transparent in marketing the trait since 2010.
THE LAWSUITS ARE WITHOUT MERIT
- Agrisure Viptera did not cause the price of commodity corn to decline.
- According to USDA, the commodity price of corn declined 32% (from $6.79 to $4.63 a bushel) between July and October 2013—prior to China’s rejection of U.S. corn in November 2013.
- Syngenta does not believe the lawsuits have merit.
- Independent, third-party statements support our belief about the lawsuits.
GROWERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCESS U.S.-APPROVED TECHNOLOGY AND REMAIN COMPETITIVE AND PROFITABLE
- Syngenta believes American farmers should have access to the latest U.S.-approved crop technology, which should not hinge on import approval from any single importing country.
- Unfounded lawsuits create additional cost for trait providers and reduce the incentive for investing to bring new corn traits to market.
- Without continued innovation, corn farmers may not see the increased yield gains and improved crop quality they have become accustomed to, in large part thanks to innovations such as those made possible by Syngenta.
- Farmers have the right to plant the latest crop technology approved in the U.S. in order to stay competitive and profitable.
Syngenta is here to support them.
Syngenta is a leading innovator in agricultural technology with more traits in recent years than any other provider. We invest heavily in the development of our products to achieve our goal: improving farmers’ yields and profitability. Agrisure Viptera, one of our key innovations, provides farmers with ‘best-in-industry’ above-ground insect protection, higher yields, and improved grain quality.
When we launched Agrisure Viptera, we did so appropriately. We not only had approval from the USDA, EPA, and FDA, but also approval in all the key export markets as agreed in 2010. NCGA and other key stakeholders did not consider China a key export market at the time, and no one waited for China import approval before launching a trait. That hasn’t changed – all major trait providers have launched a corn trait without China approval since 2010.
China’s rejection of U.S. corn was a reaction to their own their own oversupply and declining corn prices, not the cause of the price decline. According to USDA, the commodity price of corn declined 32% (from $6.79 to $4.63 a bushel) between July and October 2013—prior to China’s rejection of U.S. corn in November 2013.
Also according to USDA, “Although the United States dominates world corn trade, exports account for a relatively small portion of demand for U.S. corn--about 15 percent. This low demand for exports means that corn prices are largely determined by supply-and-demand relationships in the U.S. market, and the rest of the world must adjust to prevailing U.S. prices.”
For this and many other reasons, Syngenta believes the Agrisure Viptera Lawsuits have no merit.
Also, we believe that farmers have the right to access U.S.-approved technology and continue to grow higher yielding crops. Any import approval delays and unfounded lawsuits create additional cost for trait providers and reduce the incentive for investing to bring new corn traits to market. Without continued innovation corn farmers may not see increased yield gains and crop quality as they have previously. Simply put: Can we really allow China or any other country to dictate American farmers’ access to technology that can keep them competitive and profitable?