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Monsanto’s Shady Dealings Under Investigation by the Securities Exchange Commision

This week, biotech giant and GM-seed producer Monsanto announced it was being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commission. Although not many details of the investigation are available at this time, Rodale is reporting that the investigation is related “to financial incentives Monsanto offered to distributors who carry its glyphosate products and the financial reporting of those incentives.” Monsanto reports that it is cooperating with the investigation.

In a report published by Rodale in November, Monsanto offered to pay farmers per acre to use its genetically modified corn, cotton, and soy crops. It also provided rebates to farmers who used their popular Roundup herbicide. And here’s something interesting: Monsanto encouraged farmers to use Roundup along with competitors’ pesticide products to manage the “superweeds” that have evolved as a result of the surge in Roudup Ready crops and Roundup herbicide. Some of the weeds are so strong, they damage farm equipment and have to be pulled by hand.

The tactics have paid off. Just this week, it was announced that Monsanto’s net income has increased by 77 percent. Sales of its genetically modified corn and soybean jumped, as did its sales of Roundup. Its stock value has also increased.

But the tables may be turning for what many view as a biotech bully. Publicity has brought attention to Monsanto’s dubious practice of investigating farmers who, often unknowingly, have Monsanto seed on their land because of natural seed drift. The movie, Food Inc., interviewed a number of farmers who reported being sued by Monsanto after such seed was found on their property, often putting them out of business for good.

Besides the SEC investigation, Monsanto is part of an anti-trust investigation by the Department of Justice. According to Rodale, at least one of Monsanto’s patented genes exists in 90 percent of soy and 80 percent of corn planted in the U.S.

Read more of this week’s Rodale article:

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