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Miracle-Gro Caught Violating Pesticide Laws

Common Dreams staff

Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/File

Lawn and Garden company Scotts Miracle-Gro poisoned bird feed and violated pesticide laws, according to a Columbus, Ohio federal court ruling Friday. The company will now be ordered to pay $12.5 million in fines.

The company pleaded guilty in February to falsifying pesticide registration documents, "illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds," distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides.

After Friday's ruling Scotts must now pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for 11 criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Scotts must also now pay more than $6 million in penalties in a settlement with the EPA and spend $2 million on environmental projects.

The combination of criminal and civil settlements were the largest under FIFRA to date.

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