The US EPA described Scott's astonishing conduct as
"Scotts pleaded guilty in February 2012 to illegally
applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic
to birds, falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing
pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels, and distributing
unregistered pesticides. This is the largest criminal penalty under
FIFRA to date.
In a separate civil agreement with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million
in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects to
resolves additional civil pesticide violations. The violations
include distributing or selling unregistered, canceled, or
misbranded pesticides, including products with inadequate warnings
or cautions. This is the largest civil settlement under FIFRA to
"The misuse or mislabeling of pesticide products can cause
serious illness in humans and be toxic to wildlife," said
Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. ...
"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," said
Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment
and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
"The Department of Justice will continue to work with EPA to
assure that pesticides applied in homes and on lawns and food are
sold and used in compliance with the laws intended to assure their
In the plea agreement, Scotts admitted that it applied the
pesticides Actellic 5E and Storcide II to its bird food products
even though EPA had prohibited this use. Scotts had done so to
protect its bird foods from insect infestation during storage.
Scotts admitted that it used these pesticides contrary to EPA
directives and in spite of the warning label appearing on all
Storcide II containers stating, "Storcide II is extremely
toxic to fish and toxic to birds and other wildlife." Scotts
sold this illegally treated bird food for two years after it began
marketing its bird food line and for six months after employees
specifically warned Scotts management of the dangers of these
pesticides. 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....
Scotts also pleaded guilty to submitting false documents to EPA
and to state regulatory agencies in an effort to deceive them into
believing that numerous pesticides were registered with EPA when in
fact they were not. The company also pleaded guilty to having
illegally sold the unregistered pesticides and to marketing
pesticides bearing labels containing false and misleading claims
not approved by EPA. The falsified documents submitted to EPA and
states were attributed to a federal product manager at
At the time the criminal violations were discovered, EPA also
began a civil investigation that uncovered numerous civil
violations spanning five years. Scotts' FIFRA civil violations
included the nationwide distribution or sale of unregistered,
canceled, or misbranded pesticides, including products with
inadequate warnings or cautions. As a result, EPA issued more than
40 Stop Sale, Use or Removal Orders to Scotts to address more than
100 pesticide products."
Think of all the people who bought Scott's bird food to help
these wild creatures, and ended up poisoning them instead! Oh
Rachel, we still need you....
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