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Monsanto to pay $2.5 million fine to EPA

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By Veronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Monsanto will pay a $2.5 million fine to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for selling mislabeled genetically-engineered cotton seeds.

The fine is the largest civil settlement ever paid under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the law that regulates pesticide use.

Monsanto's Bollgard cotton seed products are genetically engineered to produce a pesticide that protects the cotton plants from insects.

EPA had restricted the sale of Bollgard in parts of Texas to prevent insects from becoming resistant to the pesticide.

In 2007, Monsanto told EPA it had failed to include the Texas planting restrictions in the Bollgard labeling. In its subsequent investigation, EPA found Monsanto had sold the mislabeled cotton seeds more than 1700 times since 2002.

Monsanto says the company takes full responsibility for the oversight and has implemented a new internal review process to prevent future labeling errors.

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