US biotech company Pioneer Hi-Bred International has paid the US$720,000 fine imposed when it omitted to promptly inform the US government that it had discovered genetically modified corn mixed in with another crop.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. was fined for its delay in telling the Environmental Protection Agency about the mix-up, said Amy Miller, an enforcement officer for the agency.

The Iowa-based company has found that 12 corn plants at a site in Kauai, Hawaii, had traces of a crop it had genetically designed to resist rootworm, a pest. The contaminated plants were destroyed and did not go back into the food chain, reported AP.