Monsanto Hit With Fine for ‘Genetically Contaminating Wheat Supply’
And it isn't the first time
After paying an original sum of $2.4 million to reimburse farmers for contaminating their fields with genetically modified wheat that had not even yet been approved for farming, Monsanto has been forced to pay another $350,000 in order to settle a class action lawsuit brought upon by numerous farmers from over seven different states.
The news comes amid economic struggles for the biotech juggernaut that have resulted in the loss of share value and poor projections for the long term future. In last year’s fourth quarter, Monsanto reported a loss of $156 million. And for the multi-billion dollar company, it’s not about the monetary figure, but the future of its genetically modified creations that the public just simply isn’t buying.
In the latest legal settlement, we find that Monsanto’s new method of simply paying off farmers just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to international trade. Following the news that GMO wheat had contaminated nearby wheat supplies, Japan and South Korea suspended a number of wheat orders from the United States — a blow towards the national economy in full thanks to Monsanto.
Meanwhile, the EU also had enough, and announced it would be enacting much more serious testing in its wheat shipments to ensure that they are GMO-free. As for Monsanto in the United States? There will be no more rigorous testing or suspension of wheat supply. Instead, the company simply has to pay off the farmers that were affected (and potentially devastated) by the genetic contamination.
As NBC News reports:
“Genetically-modified food giant Monsanto said it will pay about $350,000 to settle class action lawsuits brought by farmers in seven states over tainted wheat. It will also reimburse the plaintiffs’ and their lawyers for a portion of the costs associated with the case. The company said that under the terms of the settlement agreement it can’t disclose how much that will cost.
The lawsuits relate to the discovery of genetically modified wheat on a farm in Oregon in May 2013. The wheat had not been approved, and after the discovery, Japan and South Korea temporarily suspended some wheat orders. The European Union called for tougher testing of shipments from the U.S.”
And remember, this is after the company paid out $2.4 million to settle with farmers in the Pacific Northwest for the same contamination style problem. The result? People around the globe are beginning to realize the brutal truth about Monsanto.
Nations around the world are taking a stand against Monsanto, with Germany and others now pushing GMO bans before the next harvest. In the US, the fight is also ramping up. As states like Maine introduce legislation to take immediate action against GMOs, it becomes abundantly clear that the 96% of US citizens who say they are in favor of GMO labeling may finally get what they have been asking for.
Natural Society staff contribution