Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

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Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is a multinational corporation that makes, markets, and sells products for gardens and lawns. The company is divided into two operating segments: Global Consumer, which sells "granular and combination lawn fertilizer and control products, grass seed, spreaders, garden and indoor plant foods, plant care products, potting, garden and lawn soils, mulches and other growing media products, wild bird food, and pesticide and rodenticide products"; and Scotts LawnService, which "provides residential and commercial lawn care, tree and shrub care, and pest control services through periodic applications of fertilizer and control products," according to BusinessWeek.[1] It is a $2.8 billion company.[2]

Scotts Pays for Lacing Wild Bird Feed with Toxic Pesticide

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), in September 7, 2012, the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was sentenced in federal court and ordered "to pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for eleven criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which governs the manufacture, distribution, and sale of pesticides. Scotts pleaded guilty in February 2012 to 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 to date" (emphasis added).[3]

The DOJ continues:

"In a separate civil agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects under a settlement that resolves additional civil pesticide violations . The violations include distributing or selling unregistered, canceled or misbranded pesticides, including products with inadequate warnings or cautions. . . .
"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. Scotts had done so to protect its bird foods from insect infestation during storage. Scotts admitted that it used these pesticides contrary to EPA directives and in spite of the warning label appearing on all Storicide II containers stating, 'Storcide II is extremely toxic to fish and toxic to birds and other wildlife.' Scotts sold this illegally treated bird food for two years after it began marketing its bird food line and for six months after employees specifically warned Scotts management of the dangers of these pesticides.
"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."[3]
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Ties to the Bush Administration EPA

Scotts board member Stephen L. Johnson[4] was nominated March 4, 2005, by President George W. Bush to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[5]

Lobbying and Political Donations

Scotts spent $150,000 on lobbying in 2009.[6] Its company political action committee (PAC), The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Stewardship PAC, spent $117,000 in support of candidates for federal office in 2010, 51% to Republicans and 47% to Democrats.[7] The PAC spent $50,200 in support of candidates for federal office in the first half of 2012, 65% to Republicans and 35% to Democrats.[8]


Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
14111 Scottslawn Rd.
Marysville, OH 43041
Phone: 1-888-270-3714
Online Contact Form:


  1. Scotts Miracle-Gro Co-Cl A (SMG:New York), Bloomberg BusinessWeek, online corporation profile, accessed September 2012
  2. Scotts Miracle-Gro Co-Cl A (SMG:New York): Financials, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, online corporation profile, accessed September 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 U.S. Department of Justice, Scotts Miracle-Gro Will Pay $12.5 Million in Criminal Fines and Civil Penalties for Violations of Federal Pesticide Laws, press release, September 7, 2012
  4. Elana Schor, Former EPA Administrator Johnson Joins Chemical Company Board, New York Times, November 15, 2010, accessed September 2012
  5. The White House, Personnel Announcement, U.S. governmental press release, March 4, 2005, archived on the WayBack Machine January 18, 2009, accessed September 2012
  6. Center for Responsive Politics, Lobbying: Scotts Miracle-Gro,, online lobbying database, accessed September 2012
  7. Center for Responsive Politics, PACS: Scotts Miracle-Gro Summary,, online PAC database, 2010, accessed September 2012
  8. Center for Responsive Politics, PACS: Scotts Miracle-Gro Summary,, online PAC database, 2012, accessed September 2012
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