Friday, January 07, 2005

The Invisible Hand

Once again, Monsanto has demonstrated why laissez-faire economics is a pipe dream:

The US agrochemical giant Monsanto has agreed to pay a $1.5m (£799,000) fine for bribing an Indonesian official. Monsanto admitted one of its employees paid the senior official two years ago in a bid to avoid environmental impact studies being conducted on its cotton.

In addition to the penalty, Monsanto also agreed to three years' close monitoring of its business practices by the American authorities. It said it accepted full responsibility for what it called improper activities.
Last time I checked, bribery is a criminal offense; a fine of 1.5 mil seems pretty goddamn small. And this isn't the first time Monsanto's paid bribes, either; it's been their SOP for some time, as this article - and Monsanto itself - admits.

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