Agriculture giant Monsanto was slapped with a record-breaking fine of $2.5 Million for mislabeling and illegally distributing cotton seeds containing genetically engineered pesticides.
The EPA limits the planting and selling of this GM cotton seed to protect the environment from the 'potential harm associated with the uncontrolled spread of the genetically engineered component of these pesticides, Bacillus thuringiensis [BT].'
The EPA cites 1,782 violations which occurred in 22 states.
The EPA made the following statement in a press release:
"This agreement shows that when a company violates the law by distributing misbranded pesticides, EPA will take action," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "The regulated community should understand that we take these violations seriously, and the public will accept nothing less than compliance."
The health and environmental effects of BT cotton has not been extensively documented. Farmers in China have blamed the pesticide for a surge of pests, and scientists are calling for further study of the chemical's effects.