In total Scotts Miracle-Gro i
s facing $12.5 million in fines for violating a number of federal pesticide laws. It also added illegal pesticides to its wild bird food. The company pleaded guilty to numerous charges including the distribution of pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels, distributing unregistered pesticides and falsifying pesticide registrations. Probably the worst violation however was adding illegal and toxic pesticides Storcide II and Actellic 5E to its bird seed to control insects while the seed was in storage.
A federal district court in Columbus Ohio
ordered the company to pay a $4 million dollar fine and also perform community service after it found the company guilty of 11 different criminal charges concerning manufacture, distribution, and sale of pesticides.
In a separate agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the company agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and also to pay $2 million for environmental projects. Ignacio Moreno
of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Dept. of Justice 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. For having failed to do so, Scotts has been sentenced to pay the largest fine in the history of FIFRA enforcement."
Scotts sold the toxic bird seed for two years and even sold it for six months after its own employees had warned the company about the dangers of the pesticides to wild birds. When the company finally recalled the seed in March of 2008, it had already sold 70 million units. While these fines are large I just wonder how much impact they will have on the bottom line of a company that is the world's largest marketer of residential pesticides.