A corporate agriculture espionage case announced Thursday by federal prosecutors offered a glimpse into how at least seven Chinese men allegedly traveled across the Midwest to steal millions of dollars in seed technology.
The investigation revealed how the men used counter-surveillance techniques to shake FBI tails, but still had the seeds confiscated by law enforcement authorities as they tried to leave the country.
Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, is accused of stealing trade secrets worth at least $30 million to $40 million, said Nicholas Klinefeldt, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. It's the first corporate agriculture espionage case of its kind in Iowa, officials said.
"The point is to call people out on this type of activity," Klinefeldt said. "So that people know about it, and so companies can take the right precautions to prevent it from happening again."
Mo, the only person charged or arrested, used an alias to tour DuPont Pioneer's headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, and Monsanto's research facility in Ankeny. He also attend a state dinner in which Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad welcomed Xi Jinping, the then-future president of China, back to the Iowa. Mo and others often met at farm in Illinois bought by Kings Nower Seed, a Chinese seed company for which they were spying, court documents show."
My thinking is this kind of thing is going to progress as we learn what really is good food and how to do we produce it? We are into a whole new realm of technology with more mouths to feed.
How do we best do that? Each one is going to have his own idea on that but for me, I need to produce the highest quality non GMO food products I can produce at the lowest cost. I need to market those products for what they are really worth because me dumping a healthy, pure non GMO into the local generic soybean seed pile is money and effort wasted.
I am not surprised to see this, other countries have been "stealing" our technology and ideas for a long time time and reproducing them at a lower cost than we can. They don't end up with the same quality, but the world economy doesn't seem to matter.
What do you think?