Who is Syngenta, the defendant in these GMO corn lawsuits?

  • Syngenta is the world’s largest seed supplier
  • Syngenta is based in Basel, Switzerland
  • It has a market capitalization in excess of $32 billion
  • It has three primary U.S. entities
    • Syngenta Produce US, LLC (Delaware)
    • Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (North Carolina)
    • Syngenta Seeds, LLC (Minnesota)

Syngenta is a large multi-national corporation, with sales units integrated in (1) Europe, Africa and the Middle East; (2) North America; (3) Latin America; and (4) Asia Pacific. Syngenta’s 2013 Annual Report explains that “Syngenta’s largest market is Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which represented approximately 30 percent of consolidated sales in 2013 (2012: 30 percent) followed by North America and Latin America, each of which represented 28 percent
of consolidated sales in 2013 (2012: 30 percent and 26 percent, respectively). Markets for agricultural products in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and North America are seasonal resulting in both sales and operating profit for Syngenta in these markets being weighted towards the first half of the calendar year, which largely reflects the northern hemisphere planting and growing cycle. Latin America has its main selling season in the second half of the year due to its location in the southern hemisphere.”

Syngenta’s sales exceed $14 billion per year, with crop protection products selling at double the sales volume of its seed products. Syngenta’s crop protection products include selective herbicides, non-selective herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seed care and other crop protection offerings. Its seed sales are comprised of primarily corn and soybeans, but also of diverse field crops and vegetables. It also sells lawn and garden products.

Syngenta’s Research and Development function employs nearly 5,500 people working at R&D centers and field stations around the world and has been organized to continue to develop quality Crop Protection and Seeds products, while enabling the development of crop-focused solutions which integrate Syngenta’s technologies. Underpinning Syngenta’s core Seeds R&D and Crop Protection R&D structure are global competency platforms that include biotechnology, regulatory, product safety, as well as a global trialing capability.

Syngenta self-insures or uses a combination of insurance and self- insurance for certain risks. Syngenta reported cash and cash equivalents on December 31, 2013 and 2012 of $902 million and $1,599 million, respectively. Of total cash and cash equivalents of $902 million (2012: $1,599 million), $153 million (2012: $125 million) is required to meet insurance solvency requirements of the Group’s insurance subsidiaries. In its 2013 Annual Report to its shareholders, Syngenta states, “Litigation is subject to many uncertainties, and the outcome of individual matters cannot be predicted with certainty. Syngenta maintains general liability insurance, including product liability insurance, covering claims on a worldwide basis with coverage limits and retention amounts which management believes to be adequate and appropriate in relation to Syngenta’s businesses and the risks to which it is subject.”

Syngenta is governed by its executive committee, chaired by Michael Mack, the CEO, and with member John Ramsay, the COO, and John Atkin, Robert Derendes, Caroline Luscombe, Christoph Mader, Mark Peaccok, Davor Pisk and Jonathan Seabrook.

Written by*:
Mikal C. Watts
WATTS GUERRA, LLP
Four Dominion Drive, Bldg. Three, Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78257

* This information is provided to supply relevant information concerning the GMO corn lawsuit, and should not be received as legal advice. Legal advice is only given to persons or entities with whom Watts Guerra LLP has established an attorney-client relationship. If you have another lawyer in the GMO Corn lawsuit, you should consult with your own attorney, and rely upon his or her advice, rather than the information contained herein.

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