The Monsanto Company is well known for suing farmers, but they found themselves on the other side of the coin after wheat farmers were harmed by the discovery of a genetically modified variety at a farm in Eastern Oregon.
The incident led to costly market rejections from Japan and South Korea, who refused to import potentially contaminated wheat, as well as calls for tougher testing from the EU, which also rejects the crops.
The wheat finding occurred in 2013 despite the fact that there is no commercial GMO wheat on the market, and now Monsanto is settling up by paying out a sum of $350,000.
The donations will go to agricultural schools in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana; Monsanto will also pay to reimburse a portion of the farmers’ legal costs but did not announce the amount.
There was no admission of liability by Monsanto, according to this report from RT.
Monsanto said that money will go into “research and development efforts for the wheat industry,” Monsanto’s chief litigation counsel said (no mention was made of whether or not that would include GMO wheat).
The company also said that an Arkansas farmers’ suit still has not been resolved.
Monsanto also paid about $2.4 million worth of damages for other lawsuits that happened as a result of the Oregon scandal; the company made about $2.74 billion in profits last year, however, with sales of $15.86 billion.