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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org

SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO HIT WITH UNPRECEDENTED FINE FOR APPLYING TOXIC PESTICIDES TO BIRD FOOD

Environmental group applauds feds for taking hard-hitting action to protect wildlife and our environment

Farmingdale, NY - Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) is applauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for last week’s startling announcement that the agency will levy the largest fine ever imposed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Scotts Miracle-Gro, the world’s largest maker of residential pesticides, was fined $12.5 million for both criminal and civil violations of FIFRA.

Scotts pled guilty in February 2012 to illegally adding insecticides that are toxic to birds, to its wild bird food products. 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. They also are guilty of falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels, and distributing unregistered pesticides. According to the EPA, Scotts admitted to selling over 70 million units of bird seed over a two year period that contained pesticides toxic to birds and other wildlife. The bird seed product was recalled in 2008.

“Scotts intentionally mislabeled and misrepresented its products, which put public health, birds and wildlife at risk,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Frankly, we are sickened by this corporate criminality. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that using a toxic chemical in bird seed will kill birds, what it takes is indifference to the harm they would cause. CCE applauds the EPA and the Department of Justice for enforcing the law as intended, which is to hold companies accountable and protect public health and our environment from dangerous pesticides”

“This appalling crime reinforces the need to ensure strict oversight of pesticide companies.” CCE calls on federal lawmakers to use this case as an example of the need for fully funding environmental enforcement staff.”

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  9/12/12