Gallery: Scotts Miracle-Gro Pleads Guilty To Knowingly Selling Toxic Bi...


Have you been filling your bird feeder with a Scotts Miracle-Gro brand of birdseed? If so, you might have been poisoning birds instead of serving them a nice snack. In January, Scotts pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that from 2005 to 2008 it distributed 73 million units of birdseed coated with insecticides called Storcide II and Actellic 5E – chemicals which were intended to keep insects from eating the seed. The problem? Bug-zapping chemicals like Storcide II can also be lethal to birds, a fact that Scotts looked past when producing and selling its feed .

According to the Environmental News Service, Storcide II is labeled as “Toxic to birds,” “Toxic to wildlife,” and the label also offers this unambiguous warning: “Exposed treated seed may be hazardous to birds.” So yeah, Scotts probably knew that it was selling bird seed that was toxic to birds. In the lawsuit, the government revealed that Scotts continued to use the insecticide after two employees warned the company that it could be a potential threat to birds.

To make matters worse, a Scotts manager reportedly fabricated documents to make it seem as though the insecticides in question had been reviewed by the EPA when in fact they had not. Earlier this week, a judge in Columbus, Ohio accepted Scotts’ guilty plea, and although a sentence hasn’t been handed down just yet, the company is expected to have to pay a $4 million fine and donate $500,000 for wildlife studies and preservation.

Lead photo © Flickr user likeaduck

via Grist


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  1. thedogwalkinggarener October 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I was just sick to learn that about Scott\\\’s birdseed. I\\\’d been buying the suet at Canadian Tire and other stores. I\\\’ve contacted CT to ask them to stop stocking the suet, but they still sell it. I will never ever use any Scott product ever again.

  2. Twoxd September 8, 2012 at 3:02 am

    I feel absolutely sick to my stomach. I have been feeding our backyard birds Scotts bird food for years, ever since they came out with it. How many birds did I kill ? And I work for the company, and didn’t even know. I am embarrassed to say that I work for them, and will be actively looking for a new job.

  3. MoonglowsMom May 22, 2012 at 5:44 am

    It breaks my heart to think of the incredible damage done to our ecosystem through the destruction of tens of thousands of birds. How many cats who were seen with dying birds in their mouths were blamed for Scott’s heinous behavior? We love the birds in our neighborhood and make sure there is always feed, but it’s only been this year (2012) that we have seen birds that we used to see all the time. And most of all, as well as my grief and guilt for possibly killing the amazing birds, is my rage and desire to see the responsible Scott’s employees falling on their swords. Preferably on YouTube so I can watch it again and again.

  4. cdele50 March 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    i will NEVER AGAIN use a scotts product and i intend to write them and tell them that – and i encourage everyone who is as outraged about this as i am to do the same — remember, internet voices can be VERY LOUD

  5. Observer2 March 18, 2012 at 5:16 am

    This company should be put out of business. If they would make their birdseed toxic to birds just to increase their profit marine, what would they not do? These people lie and falsify documents about the poisons they sell. They cannot be trusted.

  6. mercurydan March 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Interesting insecticide is toxic to insects, birds and mammals however when it comes to humans, they will say yes its safe everytime. bring on the insecticide cause it doesnt harm me despite it harming every other living thing. We must be different somehow even though textbooks say we arent very different.

  7. Rogerrivers March 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    No more scotts products for me either!

  8. anothervoice March 16, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I won’t be using Scotts or their lawn service products ever again.

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