By Lucia Graves
Global agribusiness giant Monsanto is under federal investigation for using cash incentives to persuade distributors to use Roundup, the world’s top-selling weedkiller. Monsanto is also currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for a possible violation of anti-trust laws regarding its dominance of the genetically-engineered seed industry.
Monsanto announced Wednesday the company would cooperate with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe of its “customer incentives” programs and a subpoena for documents pertaining to the sale of Monsanto’s glyphosate products in fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
The US-based company has allegedly been offering distributors up to $20 per acre to use Roundup, as well as Roundup Ready seeds, which have been genetically modified to resist the glyphosate-based herbicide.
The announcement came as the agricultural biotechnology giant reported a 77 percent jump in net income, an increase attributed mostly to the strength of its core seeds and genetic traits businesses.
“We made significant changes to our business this year, and those changes resonated with our customers,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.
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