Monsanto last week referenced that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into the “customer incentives” program it has used to win sales for its Roundup-branded herbicide, noted Web news from The Street.com.

As everyone in ag knows, Monsanto in its initial years of huge financial growth lived off the combination of seed resistant to Roundup branded glyphosate herbicide and selling the herbicide. The combination is still a major life-line of the company.

The Street reporters noted the reference to the SEC inquiry in the third-quarter financial report. The quote per Monsanto said the SEC "is conducting an investigation regarding Monsanto's customer incentive programs relating to its glyphosate products in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and Monsanto has received a subpoena for documents in connection therewith. Monsanto is cooperating with the staff's investigation."

The reference to "customer" is meant to mean distributors and distribution channel of products, not end-user farmers. CEO Hugh Grant would not elaborate and was quoted as declining “out of respect for the SEC’s process.”  It was noted that the SEC inquiry has nothing to do with the company’s seed business.