WASHINGTON – Monsanto Co. spent $1.71 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government, according to a disclosure report.

That’s much less than the $2.18 million Monsanto spent a year earlier but slightly more than the $1.44 million it spent during previous quarter.

The world’s largest seed company lobbied Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture over regulations that would affect the distribution of genetically engineered crops like the company’s Roundup Ready sugar beets and alfalfa, according to the disclosure the company filed July 20 with the House clerk’s office.

The company also lobbied Congress on patent protection reforms. Monsanto spends years, or sometimes more than a decade, developing patented strains of genetically engineered crops. Maintaining those patent rights is key to the company’s profit model.

The company lobbied the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency on issues surrounding subsidies for the burgeoning ethanol industry.

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