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Monsanto pays out $10mn as it admits spraying BANNED toxic pesticide on Hawaii crops

Monsanto pays out $10mn as it admits spraying BANNED toxic pesticide on Hawaii crops
Embattled biotech company Monsanto will pay a hefty fine for stockpiling over 72kg of highly dangerous pesticide and spraying it on “research crops,” even after it was banned by the US government.

Monsanto acknowledged that it used methyl parathion, the active ingredient in Penncap-M, on corn seed and other crops on the Hawaii island of Maui back in 2014, knowing that it was prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the previous year.

The US Justice Department, which investigated the case, said that over 72kg (160lbs) of the chemical – fatal if inhaled and hazardous if swallowed – was illegally stored at a company facility, endangering “the environment, surrounding communities and Monsanto workers.”

READ MORE: Brazilian farmers lose battle to Monsanto but pledge to fight its ‘abusive’ royalty system

The controversial company told their employees to go back into the sprayed fields seven days after the toxic Pennicap-M was used, whereas the area should have been closed off for 31 days.

Now, the biotech giant has agreed to pay $10 million, which includes a $6 million criminal fine and $4 million in community service payments. The payoff is part of a deal by which federal prosecutors will dismiss felony charges against Monsanto in two years if it abides by the law.

The news comes as Monsanto faces a flurry of lawsuits over the potential hazards of its products. Just yesterday, Canadian lawyers launched a $500 million lawsuit against Monsanto and its owner, Bayer of Germany. It says Canadian plaintiffs affected by weed killer Roundup have been diagnosed with different forms of cancer, including brain and lung cancer.

Also on rt.com Canada launches major class-action lawsuit against Monsanto’s Roundup & owner Bayer

Last month, a suit pitched up by Maui residents blamed birth defects on chemicals from Monsanto corn fields. The plaintiffs believe that multiple toxins were heavily sprayed to test the seeds on Monsanto fields near their homes, local media reported.

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