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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Word today that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Monsanto. Specifically, the SEC is looking at Monsanto's use of cash incentives to market its herbicides.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Monsanto's Roundup herbicide was a blockbuster for years. Then China made a generic knockoff. To counter that, Monsanto started a program to give distributors cash incentives to buy Roundup. The SEC wouldn't comment.

But the federal government has investigated Monsanto for alleged anti-competitive practices before. Monsanto declined my interview request. But in a conference call yesterday CEO Hugh Grant said the company is co-operating. The company also says it's phasing out the incentives. And its seed business appears to be blossoming.

Tim Tiberio is an analyst at Chardan Capital Markets.

TIM TIBERIO: I think farmers are not only buying more seeds but they're also buying better quality seeds to grow more of their cops on the same amount of acres in a very bullish grain price environment.

Tiberio says Monsanto is trying to make the seeds farmers want, and that's paying off.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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