Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chinese woman denies stealing GMO seed

Mo Yun, a Chinese woman accused of conspiring to steal genetic material from Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred and LG Seeds, has failed in her bid to have the charges dismissed.

She told a federal judge she wasn’t working for the company when the alleged thefts occurred.

But the judge decided that the charges against her and her brother and five others will go to trial.

Prosecutors say more than $500 million worth of intellectual property was stolen from Pioneer Hi-Bred, Monsanto, and LG Seeds.

Mo Yun’s husband is chief executive officer of a biotechnology company in China.

Mo and her brother were arrested this year in the U.S and are scheduled to be tried together in Iowa.

The other five suspects are believed to be in China, which has no extradition agreements with the U.S.

Her attorneys recently argued that most of the evidence alleges crimes committed after she left the company in 2008, including allegations of digging in cornfields to find seeds and shipping them out of the country in 2011 and 2012.

Trying them together would allow jurors to hear evidence unrelated to Mo and could sway jurors, defence attorney Terry Bird argued.