Enforcement

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Settlement

(Washington, DC - September 7, 2012) - Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (Scotts) will pay over $6 million penalty and spend $2 million on environmental projects under a settlement that resolves violations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Scotts distributed or sold unregistered, canceled, or misbranded pesticides, including products with inadequate warnings or cautions.This is the largest civil settlement under FIFRA to date.

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Company

Scotts, located in Marysville, Ohio, is one of the leading companies in the United States producing and selling pesticides for commercial and consumer lawn and garden use. Its primary customers are home centers, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, large hardware chains, independent hardware stores, nurseries, garden centers, and food and drug stories located throughout the United States. Scotts’ subsidiaries include The Scotts Company LLC, The Scotts Company d/b/a The Ortho Group, Miracle-Gro Lawn Products, Inc., among others, and formerly Scotts-Sierra Horticultural Products Company (now Everris NA, Inc.).

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EPA’s Civil Investigation

Scotts and its subsidiaries hold numerous pesticide product registrations pursuant to FIFRA. In  January 2008, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation informed EPA, that EPA pesticide registration numbers could not be verified for products Scotts submitted in annual applications for state pesticide registration .Upon investigation, EPA confirmed Scotts did submit false registration documents for several products. It is a violation of FIFRA to distribute or sell pesticide products without EPA registration. 

EPA began a civil investigation and in April 2008, issued FIFRA Stop Sale, Use or Removal Orders (SSURO) to Scotts for its unregistered pesticide products. Scotts agreed to a voluntarily recall all unregistered pesticide products. Throughout the course of the investigation, EPA issued more than 40 SSUROs to Scotts to address over 100 noncompliant pesticide products.

From May 2008 to October 2009, Scotts conducted a compliance review plan. A third-party reviewer conducted a compliance status of all Scotts’ pesticides distributed or sold on any date within the previous five years or registered with EPA as of April 1, 2008. In 2009 and 2010, EPA inspected five of Scotts’ producer establishments and conducted a comprehensive analysis of product distribution and sales. In 2010, Scotts disclosed other violative products. 

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Violations

Scotts distributed or sold millions of units of unregistered, improperly labeled, and formulated pesticides in violation of FIFRA since 2003. In addition to submitting false registration documents to EPA, Scotts distributed or sold:

  1. unregistered or canceled pesticides;
  2. pesticides whose compositions differed from those EPA approved;
  3. pesticides with claims that differed from those EPA approved; and
  4. misbranded pesticides with false or misleading statements, inadequate warnings or cautions, or inadequate placement of required information on its labeling.

Scotts also imported pesticides into the United States without legally required documentation. More than 100 Scotts’ products were in violation of FIFRA.

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Civil Penalty

Under the terms of the civil settlement agreement and final order, Scotts will pay a civil penalty of $6,050,000 to resolve the FIFRA violations associated with 15 pesticide products. In addition to the civil penalty, Scotts will complete environmental projects, valued at $2 million, to acquire, restore and protect 300 acres of land to prevent runoff of agricultural chemicals into nearby waterways.

Environmental Benefits

The Scotts’ settlement is unprecedented in terms of the scope of corporate-wide noncompliance addressed, the number of pesticide products involved, and the far reaching nationwide noncompliance of Scotts’ products. This settlement holds Scotts accountable for its corporate-wide product noncompliance and results in a significant number of potentially harmful pesticides removed from commerce.

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Scotts Products Involved in the Settlement

  • Banrot Broad Spectrum Fungicide 40% Wettable Powder (EPA Reg. No. 58185-10),
  • Basics Solutions Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate (EPA Reg. No. 71995-6-239),
  • Brush-B-Gon Poison Ivy & Poison Oak Killer (EPA Reg. No. 239-2587),
  • Contrast 70 WSP (EPA Reg. Nos. 432-1223-58185 and 45639-208-58185),
  • Duosan WSB Wettable Powder Turf and Ornamental Fungicide (EPA Reg. No. 58185-31),
  • ORTHO Bug-B-Gon MAX Lawn & Garden Insect Killer Ready-To-Spray (EPA Reg. No. 1021-1778-239),
  • ORTHO Bug B Gon MAX Lawn & Garden Insect Killer Concentrate (EPA Reg. No. 1021-1645-239)
  • ORTHO Bug-B-Gon Multi-Purpose Insect Killer Ready-To-Use Granules (aka Ortho Bug B Gon Lawn & Soil Insect Killer with Grub Control; EPA Reg. No. 28293-233-239),
  • ORTHO Home Defense Max (aka Ortho Home Defense Indoor and Outdoor Insect Killer; EPA Reg. No. 239-2663),
  • ORTHO Malathion 50 Insect Spray (EPA Reg. No. 239-739),
  • ORTHO Orthonex Insect & Disease Control Formula III Concentrate (EPA Reg. No. 239-2594),
  • ORTHO ProSelect Roach, Ant & Spider Killer EPA Reg. No. 239-2679),
  • ORTHO Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns Concentrate (EPA Reg. No. 2217-570-239), and
  • Total Kill Lawn Weed Killer (aka Weed-Be-Gon Spot Weed Killer and Basic Solutions Lawn Weed Killer; EPA Reg. No. 239- 2691).

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For more information, contact:

Brian Barwick
EPA Region 5
Office of Regional Counsel
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3590
312-886-6620
Brian Barwick (barwick.brian@epa.gov)

Peter Felitti
EPA Region 5
Office of Regional Counsel
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3590
312-886-5114
Peter Felitti (felitti.peter@epa.gov)

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