This year has not been good so far for Monsanto. The corporation responsible for Roundup Ready, genetically modified organism (GMOs), and Agent Orange has been actively busy defending themselves in a string of lawsuits. The Inquisitr reported on such lawsuits which includes a major on in Maui, Hawaii. Apparently, Maui County voted to ban GMOs until further testing can prove their safety. In response, Monsanto filed a lawsuit against the county. They won their lawsuit which might be due to allegations that the judge overseeing the lawsuit was biased towards Monsanto in the first place, but Hawaii officials have overturned the ruling.
Now, Monsanto is taking the initiative to settle lawsuits against them. They plan to do this by paying $350,000.
According to NBC News, Monsanto will pay about the aforementioned amount to settle class action lawsuits brought by farmers in seven states over tainted wheat. This will be done by making donations of $50,000 each to agricultural schools at land grand colleges located in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Along with the settlement, Monsanto has also agreed to reimburse the plaintiffs and their lawyers a portion of the costs associated with said case.
From what is detailed in MSN, the settlement and reimbursement are all towards a lawsuit related to the discovery of genetically modified (GM) wheat found on a farm in Oregon back in May of 2013. The peculiar issues of said GM wheat was the fact it wasn’t approved. As a result, certain countries, such as Japan and South Korea, suspended some what orders on a temporary basis. The European Union (EU) actually called for tougher testing of U.S. imports.
Technically, $350,000 is not a lot of money, especially in such a lawsuit against a major corporate entity. However, Monsanto has been paying lawsuits related to the incident prior to this one. As a matter of fact, back in November of 2014, Monsanto agreed to pay about $2.4 million to settle other lawsuits. Reportedly, most of the money will go into a fund to pay farmers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho who sold soft, white or wheat bread starting March 30, 2013 and lasting about eight months.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) believes the GM wheat in Oregon as an isolated incident with no evidence of that wheat in commerce. Said statement is very insecure in which they default to ignorance, constantly claiming they have no idea how GMO seeds got into their fields.
Even after the lawsuits are settled, the amount Monsanto pays is just a sliver of their profit. Just last Wednesday, March 18, Monsanto’s shares rose 32 cents to $117.16, but they are down overall by 1.9 percent in 2015. Not to mention, Monsanto made a profit of $2.74 billion in its last fiscal year. Overall, they made $15.86 billion in sales.