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Arkansas has ordered a Chinese-owned seed producer to sell off land it holds in the state amid national security concerns.

Syngenta has been ordered to relinquish 160 acres (65 hectares) of farmland in Craighead County, Arkansas, within two years.

The order is the first of its kind under state legislation passed earlier this year, which forbids certain foreign countries from acquiring or holding land.

Syngenta, which is ultimately owned by government-run ChemChina, owns Northrup King Seed Co. that operates in the state. China is among the prohibited parties as it is subject to U.S. arms export controls known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

‘This is about where your loyalties lie,’ Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, Reuters reported.

Chinese-owned seed producer Syngenta has been ordered to divest from 160 acres of farmland in Arkansas in order to comply with new legislation that forbids some foreign countries from owning land

The site in Craighead County has been owned by Northrup King Seed Co. a subsidiary of Syngenta and ChemChina, for 35 years

The governor said that countries potentially hostile to the US could utilize knowledge of American farming practices to their advantage.

‘Seeds are technology,’ she added. ‘Chinese-owned state corps filter that technology back to their homeland, stealing American research and telling our enemies how to target American farms.’ 

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin also revealed the company had missed a June deadline to disclose the foreign ownership, meaning he would be imposing the the maximum $280,000 fine.

The company will have 30 days to pay the penalty and could face further action if it refuses. 

Griffin called the decision ‘smart and strategic’ and said if the company fails to adhere to the order, the state could look at removing their ownership though the courts. 

Agriculture is the state’s biggest industry and the area is a major exporter of rice, soybeans, cotton, poultry and feed grains.

The company will also be fined $280,000 for not disclosing its foreign ownership in a prompt manner 

Huckabee Sanders signed Act 636 earlier this year, banning foreign entities from owning agricultural lands. 

Syngenta has owned the site at Craighead Country for the last 35 years. 

The company has stressed that China has never dictated which areas of farmland it should buy or lease or any of its actions.

‘The order for Syngenta to divest itself of 160 acres of agricultural land in Craighead County, which the company has owned since 1988, is a shortsighted action that fails to account for the effects of such an action, intended or not, on the U.S. agricultural market,’ spokesman Saswato Das told Reuters.

‘Our people in Arkansas are Americans led by Americans who care deeply about serving Arkansas farmers.’

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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