Scotts Miracle-Gro Sued Over Birdseed Tainted by Toxic Pesticide

Scotts Miracle-Gro Sued Over Birdseed Tainted by Toxic PesticideScotts Miracle-Gro has been sued over “Morning Song” birdseed it sold that was allegedly tainted by toxic pesticides. The gardening and lawn care giant pleaded guilty on March 12, 2012 to violating a number of U.S. environmental laws and faces a proposed $4.5 million fine. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company entered guilty pleas to all charges in U.S. District Court, which were accepted by Judge James Graham on March 13, 2012. Penalties have not yet been determined, said The Guardian and a proposed $4.5 million fine was deferred, said the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society.

Since, said Natural News, Scotts Miracle-Gro has become the subject of a class-action lawsuit seeking damages for the company’s willful distribution and sale of birdseed products tainted with toxic, unapproved insecticides. The lawsuit also sites a number of state fraud laws and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). According to Courthouse News Service (CNS), plaintiffs from Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Mexico have joined in the lawsuit, which states that Scotts Miracle-Gro sold customers “defective and toxic bird feed products” from November 2005 through March 2008, while it was aware that it had applied Storcide II (chlorpyrifos-methyl) and Actellic 5E (pirimiphos-methyl), both illegal, to a number of its bird seed brands, said Natural News.

The plaintiffs allege that they and thousands of other consumers were robbed by Scotts Miracle-Gro and its “criminal enterprise,” which may have been responsible for poisoning untold numbers of bird species nationwide, said Natural News. “Scotts failed to disclose that its bird seed contained pesticides that were known to be highly toxic to birds,” the complaint states. “Instead, [Scotts Miracle-Gro] knowingly sold millions of units of its defective and toxic bird seed products, knowing the products would be widely used to feed birds at purchasers’ homes, in back yards, and in wild and natural environments across the United States,” the complaint continued.

In fact, Scotts admitted to selling more than 73 million bags of birdseed treated with two toxic pesticides deemed not suitable for grain intended for bird consumption, the Audubon Society explained. Scotts Miracle-Gro was advised by both its staff chemist and ornithologist about the problem with the pesticides, yet, unbelievably, continued marketing the poisoned bird seed for more than two years, selling it under a number of brand names such as Scotts ”Morning Song” and “Country Pride,” Meijers brand wild bird food, Harris Teeters brand birdseed, Publix bird food, Royal Wing brand birdseed, Purina brand wild bird seed products, Nutriplan brand birdseed, Anderson’s bird mix, and other.

Scotts Miracle-Gro used the toxins as birdseed coating to prevent insects from consuming seed before sale. Storcide II and Actellic 5E never received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for use in bird feed; the agency recognizes Storcide II a significantly toxic substance to birds, said Natural News. The Guardian explained that the two toxins act as cholinesterase inhibitors, which cause nervous system over-stimulation; even small doses can lead to nausea, dizziness, and confusion; higher doses of these toxins can cause  respiratory paralysis and death.

Finally, in 2008, Scotts issued a recall, followed by another recall urged by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), for all its affected products, including deer corn, birdseed, and numerous suet products, the Audubon Society pointed out.

Despite numerous internal warnings about the wide-ranging implications linked to the toxic birdseed, Scotts Miracle-Gro ignored the information and continued selling the seed for years. The lawsuit alleges that a federal registrations manager employed by Scotts Miracle-Gro falsified pesticide registration documents for both toxins, which led to the false belief that the chemicals were allowed for use in birdseed, said Natural News. When the EPA asked for documents Scotts Miracle-Gro used to back its use of Storcide II and Actellic 5E, it “fabricated correspondence and agency documents … in an effort to deceive the EPA into believing it had registered these products but lost its files,” said The Guardian.

Storcide II’s active ingredient, chlorpyrifos-methyl, is linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the serious, environmentally threatening, and serious world-wide bee collapse phenomenon that has affected every country in the world, said Natural News. Chlorpyrifos is one of the insecticides found in bee pollen samples according to papers published in the American Bee Journal (ABJ) and Bee Culture, said Natural News.

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