A Chinese woman has been arrested and charged with trying to steal patented U.S. seed technology as part of a plot to smuggle types of specialized corn from farm fields in the U.S. Midwest for use in China, authorities said on Wednesday.
The woman, Mo Yun, is married to the founder and chairman of a Chinese conglomerate that runs a corn seed subsidiary. She and her brother, Mo Hailong, worked together and with others to steal the valuable corn seed from Iowa and Illinois, according to law enforcement officials. Mo Hailong was indicted and arrested in December.
The investigation began after DuPont Pioneer security staff detected suspicious activity in fields where the company was testing new types of seed, and notified authorities.
Both Monsanto and DuPont develop and sell genetically altered seeds that are coveted by many farmers because they help farmers fight insect and weed problems, and can yield more in adverse growing conditions.