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Excerpt: "Scotts will pay record criminal and civilian penalties for a litany of pesticide violations, including 'illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds.'"

Lawn and garden products company Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay $12.5 million in fines for poisoning bird feed and violating pesticide laws. (photo:
Lawn and garden products company Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay $12.5 million in fines for poisoning bird feed and violating pesticide laws. (photo:

Miracle-Grow Poisons Bird Feed, Violates Pesticide Laws

By Agence France-Presse

10 September 12


awn and garden products company Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay $12.5 million in fines for poisoning bird feed and violating pesticide laws, officials said Friday.

Scotts will pay record criminal and civilian penalties for a litany of pesticide violations, including "illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds," the Justice Department said in a statement.

The company pleaded guilty in February to that violation as well as falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides.

A Columbus, Ohio, federal court on Friday sentenced Scotts to pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for 11 criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

In a separate agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which resolves additional civil pesticide violations, Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects.

Both the criminal and civil settlements are the largest under FIFRA to date, the Justice Department said.

"As the world's largest marketer of residential-use pesticides, Scotts has a special obligation to make certain that it observes the laws governing the sale and use of its products," said Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice.

As part of the criminal settlement, Scotts will contribute $500,000 to organizations that protect bird habitat.

In the plea agreement, Scotts admitted that it applied pesticides to its bird food products against EPA rules to protect them from insects during storage.

Scotts sold the illegally treated bird food for six months after employees warned management of the dangers of the pesticides, the department said.

"By the time it voluntarily recalled these products in March 2008, Scotts had sold more than 70 million units of bird food illegally treated with pesticide that is toxic to birds," it said.

Scotts, based in Marysville, Ohio, also imported pesticides into the United States without required documentation. More than 100 Scotts products were found in violation of FIFRA.

"It's important for all of our stakeholders to know that we have learned a lot from these events and that new people and processes have been put in place to prevent them from happening again," Jim Hagedorn, Scotts chairman and chief executive, said in a separate statement. your social media marketing partner


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+25 # teineitalia 2012-09-10 10:26
After all the fines have been paid, and all the mea culpas delivered- however sincerely- my only question is... will the birds recover?

I'm having a hard time understanding how a company could be so stupid and mean at the same time.
+14 # mdhome 2012-09-10 11:09
Sure kill off all the birds, then who will buy any bird seed?
+11 # Activista 2012-09-10 14:48
Sure kill off all the birds that control insect - then sell much more insecticides to protect profits - MAXIMIZE PROFIT.
Stay away from any "Miracle" products - from pharmaceuticals , lawn and garden products, etc.
+20 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-09-10 12:14
In all justice, the penalty should be big enough to kill off the Scott company.
+4 # Activista 2012-09-10 14:52
The us of pesticide D-CON, herbicides, insecticides is killing now (or causing cancer later) and it goes up the chain to Homo Destructor.
Feedback to US money culture - developing "miracle" products.
+9 # Street Level 2012-09-10 13:20
They sold this poison for 6 months and knew about it while they took peoples money and lied. Malicious. What about all the other creatures that either consume or were exposed to this stuff?
This was not a mistake and done with full knowledge. I don't use any of their products but if I did, I certainly wouldn't anymore.
+7 # Alice 2012-09-10 14:34
No fine would be big enough. This is disgusting.
+6 # Phlippinout 2012-09-10 14:54
No More miracle grow products for me!
+9 # Mamazon 2012-09-10 15:47
Is there a more blatant example of corporate profits over corprate responsibility. .. They actually sold the bird feed knwing it would kill birds. If corporations are people (my friend), then why doesn't the CEO go to jail? I have a friend in jail right now -- 6 months solitary confinement -- for driving on an expired license and a little but of pot in his pocket -- and Scott's intentionally kills birds with their bird feed and gets charged money. If CEOs did time in jail -- perhaps they would have a little more in the way of scruples, Until then corporations can rape the Earth at will!
+6 # Glen 2012-09-10 17:23
I have bought products made by these folks, but not bird seed. Other products, such as the potting soil produced zip, or the plants grown from seedlings just sat there waiting for something to feed them. Once out of the pot and into the "real" soil, they took off. Dead birds is 10 time worse than stunted plants.

Most of us have no patience for this sort of thing any longer.
+3 # Activista 2012-09-10 23:29
This is perfect case study. Insecticide in bird feed KILLS birds. So does insecticide applied to the crops, gardens, parks, buildingd - it KILLS birds (and more).
And without birds there is MORE insect - and "SMART" people need more insecticides.
Insect specie that was effectively controlled by birds now overpopulates and our scientist develop more ...
0 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-09-12 08:30
12 millions in fines is stupid when applied to a corporation caught red-handed like that.
Make it clear that the VP of poisoned food needs to pay the fine from his own pocket or face one year in jail per million he can't pay, then the other corporate executives of the World will pay attention.

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