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Syngenta Corporation faces Criminal Charges for Covering up Livestock Deaths from GM Corn

Ethan A. Huff
Published: Wednesday 27 June 2012
Gottfried Gloeckner, a German farmer from Woelfersheim, originally filed the suit roughly a decade after dozens of his own dairy cows died from exposure to Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn.
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Biotechnology giant Syngenta has officially been outed for deliberately hiding data that proves the company's genetically-modified (GM) Bt 176 corn is directly responsible for killing livestock. Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji writing for QW Magazine explains that Syngenta is now facing criminal charges for willfully concealing the results of an internal, company-run study on Bt 176 corn from 1996 that was abruptly ended when four cows died after just two days of consuming the "Frankencorn."

Gottfried Gloeckner, a German farmer from Woelfersheim, originally filed the suit roughly a decade after dozens of his own dairy cows died from exposure to Syngenta's Bt 176 corn. Gloeckner first began feeding his cattle Bt 176 corn as part of their diet back in 1997 when Syngenta gained government approval to run field trials of the crop on Gloeckner's property. And by 2000, Bt 176 corn was the only thing Gloeckner was feeding his cows.

As this transition from natural feed to GM feed was taking place, however, Gloeckner noticed that his cows were increasingly developing serious illnesses, many of which resulted in the animals' rapid death. By 2001, five of Gloeckner's cows had died, and another seven died by 2002, upon which Gloeckner decided to remove all GMOs from his livestock feed. But most of Gloeckner's remaining cows ended up suffering intestinal damage, decreased milk production, and other ailments that resulted in their having to be put down as well. 

Syngenta lied about dangers of Bt 176 corn in 2007 civil court case

At the time, Syngenta partially compensated Gloeckner for the loss of his 65-head herd as a result of Bt 176 corn. But the company ultimately refused to admit that Bt 176 corn was definitively responsible for the harm caused, a sentiment that the German and EU governments also appeared to embrace in their refusal to investigate the situation. So for years, Gloeckner has remained burdened with insurmountable debt from his losses, and with no legal remedy at his disposal.

But the situation changed in 2009 when Gloeckner discovered Syngenta's 1996 study, which prompted him to initiate legal action against the company. He has since been joined by Bundnis Aktion Gen-Klage, a German activist group, and Urs Hans, a "farmer turned activist," both of which are also in hot pursuit of justice against Syngenta.

The revelation of Bt 176 corn's extreme toxicity in cattle proves that Syngenta has been lying for years about the crop's supposed safety. The company falsely testified in a civil court case back in 2007 that Bt 176 corn was safe, which resulted in the dismissal of charges against the company that Bt 176 corn was responsible for cattle deaths. Now, suspicions that Syngenta was indeed withholding crucial information about Bt 176 corn have been confirmed by Syngenta's own study.

Syngenta also appears to have manufactured a phony study on sheep several years later in an attempt to whitewash the findings of the 1996 study. A 2008 report from GM-Free Cymru explains that the study, which was conducted in Italy between 2002 and 2005, was a poor attempt at making Bt 176 corn appear harmless and identical to natural varieties of corn. Not only was data obviously manipulated in that particular study, but sample sizes were too small, and the amount of GM materials added to animal feed was miniscule and unrealistic 

ABOUT Ethan A. Huff

Ethan A. Huff is a staff writer for

@ARACHNE6464 Could it be an


Could it be an article about a large biotech firm withholding information about risks of their products and possible perjuring themselves in court? Could it be about that same company commissioning and publishing phony studies to support their claims of product safety?

Therefore, could it cast doubt on the veracity of their confidence in the ability of their biotechnologically-altered agricultural crop seed lines to be more beneficial than harmful to goals of sustainably feeding ourselves in a world of increasing population, changing climates, increasing pollution, and diminishing resources? Could it suggest that we, too, might then not want to rely on their ability to help achieve those goals?

This is simply a description of similar behavior as Monsanto engaged in regarding 2.4.5-T, 2,4-D, PCBs, saccharin,and who knows what else, before and now.

So, you are correct -- that's not news.

This really doesn't give

This really doesn't give enough information to be called journalism. I know this is about litigation (in a foreign court), and not science, and it's not about criminal liability, because one study, with 2 dead animals at the beginning, when there have been huge numbers of farms and feedlots gorging animals on this "corn" for weeks and months (breeders perhaps for years) is just not significant scientifically. There are so many things wrong with industrial agriculture and GMO's. Why do you need to imagine stuff that isn't?

So many seem to equate the

So many seem to equate the questioning of GM foods with a questioning of science. In this case, corporate interests are misusing science to bolster already obscene profits. It's not unlike the Military/Indusrtial complex misusing science to create gigantic nuclear arsenals and to have encouraged the cold war arms race.

The bottom line is that we

The bottom line is that we are conducting a live experiment on animals and people without any transparency. I am so disappointed that Obama has supported the GMO industry. ALL consumers and all farmers should have the right to know of any GMO products in their food or feed/seed supplies. If there were no harm the chemical/agri firms would not be so adamant about keeping it a secret. My personal hope is the experience of the farmer in Germany becomes international knowledge and that any similar situations in the US are also outed.

(because clearly we cannot trust the FDA to care for the well being of the US population.)

@NHSOLARGUY - That companies

@NHSOLARGUY - That companies can buy US politicians is NOT a "different issue". It's is one of the main underlying factors that makes it impossible to effectively address any issue that pits corporate profits against the health and well-being of Americans and democracy. It results in the corruption of all government agencies tasked with safeguarding the public health, either before or after products are introduced in the marketplace. It corrupts the entire justice system from top to bottom and influences both elected judges and those appointed by the politicians who are beholden to corporate interests.

There is a poster in which a father admonishes his hungry, whining child, as they sit at an empty dinner table, to "stop talking politics".

In the end, EVERYTHING, is politics. Thanks to the SCOTUS, there can be no effective curbs against a system in which politicians, lawmakers and even high court judges are relentlessly lobbied, and bought outright, to do the bidding of corporations. SCOTUS, and other lower court judges, routinely rule against consumer protection legislation. The civil court system is being systematically undermined in order to protect corporations from the consequences of their malfeasance. (See Tort Reform). Paid for Legislators constantly campaign to defund regulatory agencies and block consumer protection legislation. Regulatory capture is widespread and pervasive. Agency heads are installed by bought politicians who subsequently make it clear to regulators and gov't. scientists within their purview, the career killing consequences of engaging in activities, including scientific publication, that may pose a risk to the financial interests of their political benefactors.

Rulings by the SCOTUS, including but not limited to Citizens United, makes it nearly impossible to prevent any of this. It creates a self-perpetuating government of systemic corruption, stacked in favor of corporations and against public health and safety.

Corporate trash that worship

Corporate trash that worship Money at the altar of GREED and Selfishness LIE?!

No wonder they don't want TRUTH in Labelling.

Well considering former

Well considering former Monsanto lawyer, Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court, I don't expect non-bias towards bio-tech.

And we thought the Supreme

And we thought the Supreme Court was supposed to examine the law and not be swayed by colleagues (cronies) nor politicals. Mmmm...

I am looking for KEVINFOLTA

I am looking for KEVINFOLTA to post here what alligators he sees, if any, in this version of the story.

maybe s/he sees none

maybe s/he sees none

Since SCOTUS stated that

Since SCOTUS stated that corporations are people (Citizens United ruling), will the CEOs / Board go to jail if the corporation is found guilty?

Triumph181 and LadyPenelope:

Triumph181 and LadyPenelope: I'm neither a fan of the GMO companies, nor the current Supreme Court, but what has this article got to do with the Supreme Court? I know that companies can spend as much money as they want to "buy" US politicians, but that's a different issue.

This particular case is playing out (I assume) in German courts. Is there some recent SCOTUS decision relating to GMOs that you're referring to?


NHSOLARGUY: They are correctly relating this case in Germany to a SCOTUS decision allowing Monsanto to sue farmers for payment when Monsanto GMO planted by other farmers migrates onto their land, as for example when carried there by water erosion. Monsanto can sue and win even if said farmer can show he did not want the GMO and took action to prevent the erosion that carried it onto his land. (Hard to believe, I know, but that's the fact of the matter.) Others are correctly noting that Bush SCOTUS appointee Clarence Thomas was before that an attorney employee of Monsanto, and rather than recuse himself from the SCOTUS case, voted in favor of Monsanto.

The point is, the governments

The point is, the governments of both Germany and the United States are being corrupted by the influence of bribery, legal or otherwise.

Corporate malfeasance is going unpunished around the world. We are going headlong into Idiocracy. We really don't need to hear from paid corporate apologists.

There is a groundswell of

There is a groundswell of revulsion growing around the world aginst the Syngentas and Monsantos of the world. That revulsion will spill over the Supreme Court and hopefully eject them. We are encouraged thes SCOTUS Roberts has had two seizures already would it not be poetic justice to see him leave sooner rather than later?

This is worse than big

This is worse than big government taking over! We can vote out politicians! The 5 "s0 called conservatives?" in the Supreme Court have just make it "legal" for big corporations to coverup their crimes...why is the non-corporate controlled media (oh there is no unbiased public news anymore thanks to Citizens United and Rupert be fair I guess this began under Clinton with the media biz?) silent on these GMO crimes? We can't even get labels on food so that we can avoid these products!!! Thank you Supreme Court for killing the American Dream!!

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