Judge accepts Monsanto Company plea agreement regarding 2014 application and storage of Penncap-M®

A Honolulu Federal District Court judge has approved a plea agreement between Monsanto Company and the U.S. Department of Justice over an incident that happened in 2014. Under the agreement, Monsanto Company pleaded guilty to one violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) regarding the 2014 application of a prohibited pesticide on a Monsanto-owned plot in Maui, Hawaii.  The Company also entered into a two-year deferred prosecution agreement regarding two violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Monsanto Company will make community payments totaling $4 million to agencies in Hawaii, pay $6.2 million in fines and receive two years of probation.

As part of the agreement, Monsanto’s fines will go to support the following state agencies:

  • $800,000 to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for use by the agency to create and fund a Pesticide Disposal Program and for training and education purposes
  • $800,000 to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Maui Division of Aquatic Resources, for use by the agency in its marine programs
  • $800,000 to the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH), Hazardous Waste Branch, for use by the agency in its training and education programs;
  • $800,000 to the HDOH, Environment Management Division, for use by the agency for water quality monitoring, water quality improvement purposes, and training and education purposes
  • $800,000 to the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission for use by the agency in the clean-up of the island of Kahoolawe.

The matter stems from Monsanto’s 2014 application of Penncap-M on Maui, which the Company self-reported to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Statement from Darren Wallis, Bayer Vice President of Communications, North America:

“The health and safety of our community, employees and environment have always been our No. 1 priority. Monsanto did not live up to its own standards or the applicable laws. We deeply apologize.

As stewards of the land, it is our responsibility to use agriculture products safely and to dispose of our waste correctly.  We take this very seriously and accept full responsibility for our actions.  We have since corrected our error, taken proactive steps to improve internal processes and implemented additional training.

On behalf of our more than 600 local employees living and working in Maui, Molokai and Oahu, we pledge to be a better neighbor, will recommit ourselves to transparency and will continue to answer questions about our work.”