Today, Scotts Miracle-Gro was sentenced to pay a $4 million file and perform community service for “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 (the law that governs the manufacture and sale of pesticides) to date.”
In a separate civil agreement with the EPA this week, Scotts also agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects for other violations.
This blog has been reporting on the problems at Scotts for a while. But I still have one question — how much money did the company make selling the pesticide-laced birdseed even after it knew about the problem? “According to EPA, 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.” Is a $4 million fine merely a slap on the wrist for a company that donated $200,000 to Romney’s SuperPAC?