News Stories

Fertilizer Company Poisoning Birds

Here's a possible cause of the aflockalypse: The company that makes Scotts Miracle-Gro fertilizer for your lawn could also be killing your songbirds.

Scotts pled guilty to charges that they illegally put insecticides into its "Morning Song" and "Country Pride" brands of bird seed. In 2008, Scotts distributed 73 million packages of bird seed coated with the insecticide Storcide II that was intended to keep insects from destroying the seed when it was broadcast onto your lawn or put into a feeder.

In fact, they stated this right on the package, which reads: "Toxic to birds, toxic to wildlife" and "Exposed treated seed may be hazardous to birds." But few of us read the fine print on bird seed packages and so almost no one noticed, until an executive at Scotts alerted the company to the problem.

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Scotts has caused environmental disasters worldwide. The only thing that surprises me about this is that they actually advertised their potential destruction on their own packaging. So shameful! As an environmental regulator I spent 2 1/2 years building a case against one of their soil packaging plants that was located in the middle of a residential neighborhood. people were getting sick and property was being destroyed. In the end, after all the work I put in to it, my local agency fined them just $350. Scotts moved the plant shortly after that to a more tolerable jurisdiction. I no longer work for that agency. Environmental agencies no longer work for the Environment. Thanks UC for sharing stories that are so important to us all. May the future be brighter!

I, as an employee of a considerably larger environmental agency (ahem), must agree with Sprout that that the system does not work nationwide. The bureaucracy is only interested in "beans", that is meeting each year a set number of large scale high profile cases upfront, letting smaller easy to correct violators to fall to the wayside because they are too small, too remote or simply not "juicy." As a result the environment suffers as many violations of environmental law go unresolved.

Scott's was fined about $4 Million in this case - and the publicity SHOULD be devastating, hopefully people who care will boycott their products to send a message. Meanwhile, it aggravates me that they are always showing dandelions as evil weeds when nothing could be further from the truth - while they have a bit more bitterness to the taste than some other "spinach" like veggies - they are a liver and blood detoxifier and rich in vitamins. Ditto for violets - leaves and flowers are both edible and have more vitamin A than spinach and are tasty and more complex flavor when just slightly steamed. We may need our wild greens in the future if all the big agribiz fails due to whatever cause. BTW - the pigweed that is the bane of some farmers is ALSO edible, at least when young, and its seeds, also known as amaranth - are a good source of protein and can be used like other grains.

These chemical companies are killing our planet. Putting poisons on everything we grow for food and eventually consume. If we kill off all of the birds, bees, bats we will be next. The only creatures that will thrive ironically will be the insects and weeds these products were invented to eliminate!!!

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