In the largest fine ever levied under a U.S. pesticides law, Monsanto agreed to pay the Environmental Protection Agency $2.5 million.
The agricultural giant was found to have been selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such. Between 2002 and 2007, Monsanto’s seeds were illegally sold in several Texas counties where the seeds are explicitly banned.
The seeds — known as Bollgard and Bollgard II — were genetically engineered to produce the insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and Texas officials were concerned that using the seeds would lead to pest resistance.
But that didn’t stop Monsanto from bamboozling buyers into purchasing the illegal seeds.