Syngenta

Dear Corn Producer:

As you are no doubt aware, corn prices have plummeted significantly in the past couple of years. We believe a major reason for this dramatic price drop is the result of economic harm caused by Switzerland based Syngenta Corporations marketing of two genetically modified strains of corn Agrisure Viptera® and Agrisure Duracade™ that have been outlawed in China. China is one of the largest importers of United States corn and began refusing shipments of U.S. corn over a year ago after a genetic trait found in Agrisure Viptera®, MIR 162 was detected in the shipments.

With the loss of the Chinese market, prices for U.S. corn have plummeted. By mid-2014 losses to corn growers in the industry of the United States due to the loss of the Chinese market were estimated to be between 1 billion and 2.9 billion dollars and growing. The law firm of Blanton, Rice, Nickell, Cozean & Collins, LLC. is currently enrolling local corn producers as participants in a class action lawsuit currently pending in multi-district litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

To be eligible, you need only be a corn producer who price booked or sold corn after November of 2013. At this stage of the litigation, it does not matter what price per bushel you booked. All bushels are eligible. You do not have to have planted or harvested Syngenta corn products to be eligible. The primary allegations of the lawsuit are that Syngenta engaged in an overly aggressive marketing campaign before obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for their genetically modified corn products, including approval in China, who eventually denied the regulatory approval. The allegations are that China’s refusal to accept U.S. corn imports negatively affected the price of corn globally, causing harm to U.S. farmers, regardless of whether or not they planted Syngenta corn.

If you are interested in becoming part of the class action lawsuit, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible.

There is no risk involved in your enrollment in the class action lawsuit. If a judgment or settlement is obtained, all attorneys fees and expenses will be paid out of the settlement or judgment. Therefore, you do not have to put up any money for fees or expenses up-front. The attorneys fees and expenses only get paid if we reach a recovery in your case.

Our law firm draws on 100 years of excellence in legal service to our clients and is more than adequately staffed to meet your needs. If you are interested, you can contact us directly as 573-471-1000 or visit our website at www.blantonlaw.com, or e-mail to pdouglas@blantonlaw.com. Please ask to speak to one of our attorneys and they can assist you with anything you need. We look forward to hearing from you and working diligently to obtain the best recovery for your farming operation possible.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SYNGENTA CORN LITIGATION

1. What is the Litigation About?

Syngenta sells two genetically modified corn varieties, Viptera and Duracade, that are approved in the United States, but have not been approved in all export markets, including China. In 2013 China, an important export market for U.S. corn, tested some U.S. corn shipments and discovered the shipments included the genetically-modified (MIR 162 GMO) trait found in Viptera and Duracade. China immediately began rejecting U.S. corn shipments, which ban only very recently was lifted, with restrictions. Needless to say, the global corn market has not yet recovered.

2. I grew Syngenta's Viptera or Duracade. Do I have a claim against Syngenta?

You might have a claim against Syngenta. However, this lawsuit only involves farmers who did not purchase or plant Syngenta's Viptera or Duracade. If you grew Viptera or Duracade and would like to investigate whether you have a claim, you are welcome to contact us to discuss.

3. If I did not grow Viptera or Duracade why do I have a claim against Syngenta?

Yes. The loss of China, a significant U.S. corn export market, has decreased demand for U.S. corn around the world. This decreased demand caused a decrease in the market price for all U.S. corn, regardless of its variety. This lawsuit seeks to compensate U.S. farmers who did not grow Viptera or Duracade for market losses they suffered due to Syngenta’s failure to take proper steps to ensure its Viptera corn was channeled so that it would not end up in the part of the U.S. corn supply that was exported.

4. If I did not grow Viptera or Duracade do I need to file a lawsuit?

Yes. The lawsuit is a class action, and is brought on behalf of all U.S. corn farmers who did not grow Viptera or Duracade. Although you do not need to file your own lawsuit, you should contact an attorney to make sure your rights against Syngenta are protected in the event the Court determines this lawsuit should not be brought as a class action.

5. Will I Have to Pay Attorney’s Fees or Costs Up Front?

No. We and our co-counsel will not recover one penny unless you do. In the event of a judgment or settlement, we will receive a standard one-third (33⅓%) of any settlement or judgment you receive, in addition to expenses incurred. If the Court requires, Syngenta may pay the attorney’s fees involved. The attorneys will be required to submit their time and expenses incurred in such a case.

6. What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

You need only have sold or price booked corn during or after November of 2013 to be eligible. There is no certain price per bushel that you had to sell corn for as of this time. All bushels sold are eligible, and losses will be determined if the lawsuit progresses.

7. How is this similar to the LLRice contamination case against Bayer?

In the LLRice case, several key export markets rejected shipments of rice that contained Bayer’s LLRice. Initially the European Union issued an emergency declaration prohibiting the importation of any rice from the United States. Other key export markets issued similar decrees. Eventually the European Union allowed shipments of rice from the United States as long as those shipments tested negative for LLRice when they arrived in Europe. In this case, the Chinese authorities found Syngenta’s Viptera in shipments of U.S. corn and rejected the shipments. Additionally, the Chinese authorities issued an embargo prohibiting the importation of any corn from the United States. That embargo is has only been lifted, with restrictions. Like the LLRice case, the loss of the Chinese export market has caused significant market loss damages to corn farmers. The lack of a Chinese market decreased overall demand for U.S. corn supplies, resulting in lower prices farmers could, and can, obtain for their crop.

8. Why Should I Sign Up Now, Instead of Waiting?

The benefits to enrolling now, and engaging counsel are many. It is not yet clear if there will be any settlement and what type of settlement that would be. It could be a settlement with only corn producers who signed up prior to the date of settlement offer. It could be an “opt-in” settlement, which would allow producers who are eligible to enroll, after a certain settlement payment had been deposited. However, that is not a certainty. Additionally, if the class action proceeds to trial, you will be a beneficiary of any judgment against Syngenta. You would not share in any judgment if you do not engage counsel. By doing nothing, you could end up not sharing in any settlement or judgment obtained. In addition, the share of attorney’s fees will not be greater for enrolling now as opposed to enrolling later. Most importantly, you will have our law firm and our co-counsel looking out for your best interests, as well as the best interests of the class as a whole. You will be privy to developments in the lawsuit, and can call our law firm when you have questions or comments. We will keep you informed at each step.

9. What Do I Have To Do to Enroll?

Contact our office in Sikeston: Blanton, Rice, Nickell, Cozean & Collins, LLC, 219 S. Kingshighway St., Sikeston, MO 63801, Telephone (573) 471-1000. E-mail to pdouglas@blantonlaw.com.