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.Here’s the bad news: Monsanto’s market cap is $29.5 billion, so the fine is less than a hundredth of a percent of that.
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.
Still, the fines keep going up. Maybe eventually they’ll get big enough to sting.
Or we could just trust the company that made Agent Orange and DDT.
Or we could remember this:
In 1996, New York’s Attorney General hit them with a $50,000 fine for false advertising of their flagship pesticide Roundup. Claims in question included “Remember that environmentally friendly Roundup herbicide is biodegradable. It won’t build up in the soil so you can use Roundup with confidence along customers’ driveways, sidewalks and fences… ”This is the same “biodegradable” claim about which the French Supreme Court, found Monsanto guilty of lying.
That’s a tough claim to swallow when you consider the EPA warning required on Roundup’s packaging:
Do not allow the herbicide solution to mist, drip, drift, or splash onto desirable vegetation since minute quantities of this herbicide can cause severe damage or destruction to the crop, plants, or other areas on which treatment was not intended.
Eventually buyers will turn away.