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Monsanto Agrees to Plead Guilty to Illegally Using Pesticide at Corn Growing Fields in Hawaii and to Pay Additional $12 Million

Company also Agrees to Plead Guilty to Felony Offenses Related to Banned Pesticide Alleged in $10 Million Deferred Prosecution Agreement Filed in 2019

          LOS ANGELES – In court documents filed today in Hawaii, Monsanto Company agreed to plead guilty to 30 environmental crimes related to the use of a pesticide on corn fields in Hawaii, and the company further agreed to plead guilty to two other charges related to the storage of a banned pesticide that were the subject of a 2019 Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

          Monsanto admitted in a plea agreement filed today that it committed 30 misdemeanor crimes related to the use of a glufosinate ammonium-based product sold under the brand name Forfeit 280. After using the product in 2020 on corn fields on Oahu, Monsanto allowed workers to enter the fields during a six-day “restricted-entry interval” (REI) after the product was applied.

          The plea agreement calls for Monsanto to serve three years of probation, pay a total of $12 million and continue for another three years a comprehensive environmental compliance program that includes third-party auditor.

          As a result of the conduct in which Monsanto allowed workers on 30 occasions to enter fields sprayed with Forfeit 280 during the REI, the company violated a 2019 DPA related to the storage of a banned pesticide. According to the documents filed today, Monsanto will plead guilty to two felony charges filed in 2019 that the government would have dismissed if the company had complied with federal law. In conjunction with the DPA related to the two felony charges of illegally storing an acute hazardous waste, Monsanto pleaded guilty in early 2020 to a misdemeanor offense of unlawfully spraying a banned pesticide – specifically methyl parathion, the active ingredient in Penncap-M – on research crops at one of its facilities on Maui.