Negligent misrepresentation refers to negligently making a false statement of fact that causes another party to make a contract. Other types of misrepresentation include fraudulent and innocent. Companies can be accused of negligently making misleading statements to induce another party into making a contract. One example of such an accusation is the lawsuit being brought against Sygenta.
Sygenta is a biotechnology company that sells genetically modified seeds. A lawsuit was filed against Sygenta on behalf of various states that are populated by farmers. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are accusing Sygenta of destroying the U.S. ability to export corn to China. They also are accusing the defendant of lowering prices for all domestic corn.
Sygenta is responsible for creating Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade, which are strains of genetically modified (GMO) corn. The corn was engineered to make it resistant to certain insects that are known for ruining corn crops. These strains are approved in the U.S., but have not yet been approved in China because the two strains of genetically modified corn contain MIR 162. Thus, China has refused to accept any corn from the U.S. that tests positive for MIR 162 starting in 2013.
MIR 162 is a genetic modification designed to protect corn plants from being destroyed by insects. It has Viptera, which is a toxin that originates from bacteria. The viptera toxin kills the insects that attack the corn.
Any exporter, farmer, or distributor can sue the company if:
- They are unable to export corn to China because of the MIR 162 found in corn
- They have seen prices drop in their domestic market because of the excess of corn as a result of China’s refusal to accept American-grown corn
This is because Sygenta allegedly claimed that the Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade strains would be sellable in major export markets for American farmers. However, the average American farmer cannot sell the corn in all major markets because they cannot sell it to China.
It is frustrating when, in your capacity as a businessperson, you buy a product that you cannot resell as planned, despite assurances that you will have no problem reselling the product in your major markets. Contact a contract lawyer if you are a farmer, distributor, or exporter possibly harmed by the export corn problem that has allegedly been caused by Sygenta.