ST. LOUIS (AP) - Monsanto Co., the world's biggest seed company, has agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a $2.5 million penalty for selling mislabeled bags of genetically engineered seed.
The EPA says it is the largest fine ever imposed under a law that regulates pesticides and fungicides.
Between 2002 and 2007, Monsanto improperly sold its Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton seeds in 10 Texas counties where the seeds were banned, according to the EPA. The cotton seeds are regulated as pesticides because they kill insects, and the seeds were banned in parts of Texas to avoid growing pest resistance to them. The ban has since been lifted.
Monsanto informed the EPA it was selling seeds in the 10 Texas counties, even though the company was supposed to label the seeds as banned in those areas, the EPA said. Monsanto later changed its cotton seed labels to reflect the ban.