USDA Lifts Restrictions on Planting Syngenta’s Genetically Modified Corn Seeds

Jeffrey ErnstFriedman | February 14, 2011

Feb. 14, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture* (USDA) has given corn growers the green light to plant Swiss-based Syngenta's genetically modified corn seeds (corn amylase Event 3272) for the 2011 spring season. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the announcement is a boon to midwest growers, but the product is under fire regarding concerns for crop contamination. The seeds will be sold under the "Enogen" brand.

Below is a breakdown of the $660,230 in contributions dating back to 2001 from Syngenta and its employees to members of the 109th-112th Congresses. A analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that two high-ranking officials on the House Agriculture Committee also top Syngenta's donor list. The committee's ranking Democrat Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) has taken in $19,500 in contributions, while committee Vice-Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has taken in $19,000. Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) sits amongst the top ten with $11,000 in contributions. The House Agriculture Committee is tasked with oversight of the Department of Agriculture. Contribution figures date from Jan. 1, 2001-Nov 22, 2010

Top 10 Lawmakers Receiving Campaign Contributions From Syngenta

Collin Peterson Democrat MN House 7 $19,500
Robert Goodlatte      
VA House 6     
Saxby Chambliss Republican GA Senate $16,000
Michael Castle Republican DE House At-large         
Blanche Lincoln Democrat AR Senate $13,000
Max Baucus Democrat MT Senate $13,000
Thomas Latham Republican IA House 4 $13,000
John Boehner Republican OH House 8 $12,000
Adrian Smith Republican NE House 3 $11,000
Frank Lucas Republican OK House 3 $11,000

Top 10 Total Contributions to Lawmakers by State From Syngenta

North Carolina   
Texas $47,000
Iowa $38,000
Illinois $35,050
Georgia $33,500
Missouri $29,750
Virginia $24,000
Ohio $23,500
California $22,000

Monetary and non-monetary contributions to candidate campaign committees of legislators serving in the 109th, 110th, 111th and 112th Congresses for election cycles 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

*Correction: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is the agency that approved corn amylase Event 3272.