China Conducting Agricultural Espionage Against Iowa Farms


A farmer grinds wheat spikes to thresh wheat in a village May 26, 2006 in Lantian County of Xian, Shaanxi Province China.
(Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)


Farmers in Iowa have accused China of illicitly extracting samples of valuable genetically modified seeds from American fields in an effort to replicate them in China.

A bipartisan congressional delegation organized a meeting in the central Iowa town of Dysart to discuss the suspected activities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its negative effects on American agriculture. This gathering takes place amid a tense climate between the U.S. and China, stirred by the earlier spy balloon incident, ongoing trade disputes, the CCP’s constant attempts at infiltrating American society, and other factors.

READ: Report: 147 American K-12 Schools Tied to Communist China

The House Select Committee on the CCP, represented by three of its members, traveled to rural Iowa to discuss with local stakeholders the alleged persistent efforts by China to appropriate American agricultural technology. These accusations are not new, as a similar case in 2012 saw a business-dressed individual, later identified as Mo Hailong, digging up hybrid seeds in Dysart, leading to his arrest by the FBI and conviction for theft of U.S. agriculture trade secrets in 2016.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) stated, “In my opinion, it’s part of a much larger, country-wide, slow-motion heist of American intellectual property.” FBI estimates indicate that intellectual property theft by China costs the U.S. economy between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.

READ: Illegal California Biolab Tied to China; There Could Be Others

The economic espionage cases linked to China have seen a drastic surge of 1,300 percent, as reported by FBI Director Christopher Wray in 2020. Gallagher added, “Both the Trump and Biden administrations have oriented U.S. strategy around competing with the Chinese Communist Party—but we are not competing if we’re letting the CCP steal hundreds of billions of dollars from Americans.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) highlighted the importance of preventing these intellectual thefts, as agricultural exports are a vital part of the economy. Farmer Louie Zumbach told NewsNation that farmers pay a “tech fee” for genetically modified seeds and stealing this technology is like stealing from every farmer in America.

Despite the accusations, some attendees like Suzanne Sherron, a sixth-generation Iowa farmer, urged for a strategic approach towards China, stating that one out of every three rows of soybeans grown in Iowa are sold to China. Ashley Hinson, the GOP representative for the district, echoed the sentiment of protecting American farmland and intellectual property from the CCP.

China’s investment in U.S. land has been a matter of national security concern, with instances like the Fufeng Group’s land purchase near the Grand Forks Air Force base in North Dakota. Recent legislative efforts, such as a Florida law prohibiting Chinese nationals from buying land within a five-mile radius of the state’s military installations, aim to limit Chinese ownership of U.S. soil.


Trending stories, leading insights, & top analysis delivered directly to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive email messages from The Liz Wheeler Show to the email address you provide. You may unsubscribe at any time.


Related Stories


Scroll to Top