Monsanto Gets $2.5 Million Penalty For Misleading Cotton Farmers
Under the guise of “increased crop yields” and “a sustainable food system,” biotech giant Monsanto has been pumping dangerous genetically modified crops into the global agricultural industry for decades.
Now the EPA has announced that Monsanto has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine to resolve misbranding violations related to the sale and distribution of cotton seed products containing genetically engineered pesticides.
Despite the fact that GMOs are banned in many countries, and real food advocates have been protesting the unfair distribution of these substances without proper labeling for years, few actions have been taken to protect consumers from the health risks posed by Monsanto’s seeds and plants.
The cotton seed products in question were Bollgard and Bollgard II, two genetically engineered varities known as plant incorporated protectants (PIPs), which are registered as a pesticidal product under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Because of the presence of PIPs, both Bollgard and Bollgard II the EPA forbid Monsanto from selling these seeds in 10 Texas counties in order to prevent pests from becoming resistant to Bt PIPs and other microbial products used in sprays and dusts.
Monsanto was supposed to control the sale and distribution of the cotton seed by including information on the planting restrictions in its labeling and grower guides.
Despite EPA regulations, Monsanto refused to include the warning information on the product packaging, and it was discovered that between 2002 and 2007, the company distributed or sold the cotton products more than 1,700 times nationwide, including the restricted Texas counties.
Although the fine might seem significant to us, it’s merely a slap on the wrist for this multi-billion dollar international corporation. If Monsanto agreed to pay the penalty to resolve the issue, it must mean the profit they made from selling the restricted seeds was far greater.
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