Judge denies injunction in Syngenta’s suit against Bunge

Dow Jones newswire reports that a federal judge has sided with Bunge in its refusal to accept corn containing Syngenta’s Viptera trait, denying a preliminary injunction sought by the seed company.

Syngenta sued Bunge last month in U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa, claiming a decision by the grain merchandiser not to accept corn with the Viptera trait was arbitrary and harmed Syngenta’s reputation.  The seed has been approved for import into several key markets, but not China.

Federal judge Mark Bennett denied Syngenta’s request for the preliminary injunction, writing that, while the seed maker does “face a substantial threat of reputational harm,” it isn’t clear Bunge is to blame. 

Bennett said Bunge’s decision was “a legitimate and reasonable business decision.”

In a statement, Syngenta said the lawsuit is only part of its efforts to “secure greater clarity” for farmers who use new seed technologies, and its determination on that issue remains unchanged.

Bunge in a statement said it is pleased with the ruling and expects the court to eventually reject Syngenta’s suit outright.

Viptera, which received U.S. regulatory approval last year, is genetically modified to combat damaging insects such as corn earworm and fall armyworm.

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