Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
For more information contact:
William Cooke, CCE, 518-461-9947 (mobile)
Adrienne Esposito, CCE, 516-390-7150, aesposito@citizenscampaign.org


Environmental Groups Remind Holiday Shoppers that Scotts Profited from Poisoning Birds

(Albany, NY) —This holiday season, environmental groups have a reminder for shoppers who buy bird seed to help their feathered friends over the harsh winter months: Don’t forget about the Scotts Miracle-Gro bird tragedy! Scotts admitted this fall to selling 70 million bags of bird seed tainted with bird poison, in violation of federal law. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of birds may have been affected by the poison. The EPA fined Scotts $12.5 million as part of a settlement of criminal and civil violations. However, the profit from the sale of the contaminated bird seed is estimated at $140 million.

Environmental groups are urging consumers who may have purchased contaminated bird seed to call the Scotts Company and ask for their money back. The period of sale was five or six years ago, and therefore receipts or product packaging are not required to obtain a full refund, which have already been issued to some consumers. The toll free number for Scotts is 800-543-8873.

“Scotts Miracle-Gro not only brazenly broke the law, they led many bird lovers to unknowingly poison birds they wanted to help,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Bird lovers who find it unconscionable that Scotts profited from poisoning birds should demand their money back.”

"People who love birds are appalled that the government would settle a case like this with just a slap on the wrist," says Doug Wood, Associate Director of Grassroots Environmental Education based on Long Island. "Birds were intentionally poisoned, and the only thing that happened to Scotts is they had their profit reduced by a few percent. At the very least, they should give every consumer their money back!"

In September of 2012, Scotts Miracle-Gro was fined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for knowingly applying the pesticides Actellic 5E and Storcide II to its bird food products, and for falsifying records and misleading the EPA. 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.


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

Grassroots Environmental Education is a registered 501 (C) (3) not-for-profit organization based on Long Island. The organization's mission is to educate the public about the links between common environmental exposures and human health impacts. More information is available at the organization's web site, www.grassrootsinfo.org.

updated by bsmith  12/18/12