Minnesota Companies Battle Over Damages Over Corn
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Cargill Inc. has recently sued Syngenta Seeds Inc. over the shipment of genetically modified seed. The Minnesota companies are at odds after China refused a shipment of Cargill grown corn. While both companies support the research and growth of genetically modified seed, Cargill accuses Syngenta of not obtaining proper permission from major exporting countries before selling the seed.
According to reports, Cargill used modified seed to produce corn to ship to China. After the corn was grown, China — a major purchaser of corn — refused to accept the more than 1.4 million metric tons of the product. China claims to support the production of genetically modified food, but is, however, getting pickier about what types of modifications are acceptable.
Cargill claims that Syngenta should have made sure that China would accept the genetic modifications prior to selling the seed to Cargill. In the suit, Cargill claims to have suffered $90 million in damages.
Syngenta, on the other hand, claims that it fulfilled its duty regarding the seed. The company says it obtained permission from major importing countries about the seed and had met other regulatory and legal requirements when producing the seed.
Civil litigation — like the case between Cargill and Syngenta — can be a costly and time consuming distraction for Minnesota businesses. However, it is often necessary for businesses to protect their interests and to collect damages for business losses.
Before moving forward with litigation, businesses should make sure to explore all legal options. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a solution between the parties with the help of alternative dispute resolution methods. In other cases, aggressive litigation is necessary to see a successful outcome.
Source: Star Tribune, “Cargill sues Syngenta Seed over China shipments,” Jim Spencer, Sept. 13, 2014