Six Chinese have been charged with conspiring to steal U.S. trade secrets about bioengineered corn seed from American seed companies, and then send the corn and the seed to their own company in China. The 21-page indictment was filed in Des Moines, Iowa. According to documents filed in federal court, the Chinese drove through rural areas of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana and dug up freshly planted seeds and collected samples of grown corn to obtain specimens of the valuable engineered seeds.
The picture in the newspapers that carried this story showed what looked like teenagers kneeling on the ground in a field of corn. These seeds represent years of work by American companies and millions of dollars spent in research and development. One company estimated that the loss of one of these lines of seed would wipe out 5 to 8 years of research and cost the company 30 to 40 million dollars. The Chinese spies targeted Monsanto, LG Seeds, and Pioneer Hi-Bred (affiliated with Dupont). The Chinese were so thorough about their theft that they bought a 40-acre farm in Monee, IL for $600,000 to use as a base of operations. Why do we continue to let the Communist Chinese rip us off in the name of free trade?
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