We think pesticide use is too common and we’re concerned with the damage pesticides can do to birds, which is why we opposed a bill in Hartford this year that would have rolled back regulations prohibiting the use of cosmetic pesticides on school grounds. But generally when pesticides kill birds, it’s inadvertent.
Not always though. Grist.org reported today that the Scott’s Miracle-Gro lawn care company pleaded guilty in court to knowingly lacing wild bird food with pesticides. Here’s an excerpt from the Grist.org account:
“Scotts pled guilty this Tuesday to charges that the company illegally put insecticides in its “Morning Song” and “Country Pride” brands of bird seed. That’s right: The company knowingly coated products intended for birds to eat with substances toxic to birds and wildlife.
According to court records, in 2008, Scotts distributed 73 million packages of bird seed coated with the insecticides Storcide II, containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos, and and Actellic 5E, containing the active ingredient pirimiphos-methyl, intended to keep insects from destroying the seed.
The company continued to produce and market the insecticide-coated seeds despite being alerted to toxicity dangers by a Scotts staff chemist and ornithologist….
No fine has been imposed yet. The American Bird Conservancy points out that one of the problems is that the company that registers the pesticides with EPA is responsible for writing the warning labels, instead of EPA. You can read all the details here. – Tom Andersen, director of communications and community outreach