Agrochemical giant Monsanto has pleaded guilty to spraying banned pesticides on research crops on the Hawaiian island of Maui in 2014, and will have to pay $10.2 million in criminal fines for spraying and illegally storing the pesticide which has been classified as an “acute hazardous waste.”
On Thursday, the Department of Justice said that Monsanto had sprayed Penncap-M, which contains the banned insecticide methyl parathion, on research crops in full knowledge that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had prohibited its use after 2013, reports Reuters.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California struck a deal not to prosecute Monsanto—now a part of German pharmaceuticals multinational Bayer AG—if it abides by the agreement to pay $6 million in criminal penalties along with $4 million in community service payments.
In a statement published to its website, Bayer spokesman Darren Wallis said:
“As stewards of the land, it is our responsibility to use agriculture products safely and to manage our waste correctly. We take this very seriously and accept full responsibility for our actions. We have taken steps to improve internal processes and implemented additional training. We did not live up to our own standards or the law.”