September 3, 2015
The Wall Street Journal reported back in July that Trans Coastal Supply Co. had sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors, “blaming losses and broken sales contracts after China began rejecting corn shipments in late 2013, when Chinese officials detected a genetically engineered strain that Beijing hadn’t yet approved.” The filing was just another development in the growing Syngenta debacle. At the time of the article, The Journal reported, “More than 180 separate lawsuits have been filed against Syngenta in the matter.” That number has now grown to almost 20,000.
Trans Coastal “Misled”
The Wall Street Journal also reported that Tran Coastal had been led to believe, “the Syngenta strain was soon to be approved for import into China and that until then it wouldn’t turn up in shipping channels.” This was according to a letter from the president of Trans Coastal to its employees. Pamela Moses, the company’s president, went on in the letter to say, “Neither of these things turned out to be true. The predictable result was a downward spiral that included abandoned cargos, rejected documents, rejected cargos, devaluation of markets, and defaulted sales contracts by customers uncertain of their ability to accept delivery, which, combined with our losses resulting from the opposite purchase contracts have debilitated our company.”
Effectively, Trans Coastal blamed Syngenta for the company’s failure because of Syngenta’s part in the destabilization of the corn market. As a result, Trans Coastal, along with Cargill, sued Syngenta, and Archer Daniels Midland followed suit not long after. The Journal reported that Syngenta filed to dismiss the lawsuits, but plaintiffs in the suit filed a motion to oppose dismissal. At the time of the article, a ruling on that motion was reported to be had by early September. Those following the situation should hear any day now whether the lawsuit will continue.
You can learn more about the lawsuit by reading other articles on our website, or by calling our office and speaking with someone about the situation. Many were affected by plummeting corn prices following the glut in the domestic market after China refused to accept shipments containing Syngenta’s Viptera. Farmers hurt by a drop in prices may not know that they could be entitled to restitution as a result of Syngenta’s negligence. If you or someone you know were negatively affected by the drop in corn prices last year, call us with any questions. Our office is helping other farmers with the litigation process to help them recover some of their lost profits, and we can help you too.