Monsanto has pled guilty and agreed to pay $12 million to settle environmental violations involving the use and storage of pesticides in Hawaii.
The company, acquired by Bayer in 2018, allowed workers to enter corn fields sprayed with a glufosinate ammonium-based herbicide during a six-day “restricted-entry interval” period last year, the Justice Department said.
Allowing the workers into the fields violated a Deferred Prosecution Agreement related to storage of a banned pesticide, methyl parathion, DOJ said.
The $12 million is made up of a $6 million criminal fine and four payments of $1.5 million each to different Hawaii state agencies, including the Department of Agriculture.
“The conduct at issue in the agreement is unacceptable and contrary to the values and policies of the company, and we sincerely regret it,” said Darren Wallis, Bayer’s vice president of communications, North America Crop Science, said in a statement. He said the company is taking "significant remedial actions to enhance its controls, including strengthening its policies and procedures that now require a robust and multi-step approval process to authorize the use of pesticides on fields in Hawaii, and enhancing its training."
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