Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Wrat Wro, Shaggy!" (said like Scooby Doo)

Scotts-local company, giver of community gardening grants, has some problems:

MARYSVILLE, Ohio - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday ordered Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. and three affiliates to stop selling or using pesticides that are unregistered, mislabeled and illegal, the agency said.

The lawn and garden company has agreed to recall Miracle-Gro Shake 'n Feed All Purpose Plant Food plus Weed Preventer, said Jim King, company spokesman. The EPA says the product is also sold as Garden Weed Preventer + Plant Food.

King said the company also has stopped using a product provided by its lawn service that the EPA had ordered it to stop using. He said it was never sold to consumers for do-it-yourself use.The EPA said the products include invalid EPA registration numbers. Federal law requires that all pesticides must be submitted to the EPA for evaluation of risks to humans or the environment.

"This is a serious violation of EPA's system for protecting people and the environment from the potential harmful effects of pesticides," said Mary Gade, a regional administrator for the EPA.The EPA said it is unknown whether the pesticides pose any risk and the agency is working with the Ohio agriculture department to analyze the products.
Scotts said it does not believe either product poses unreasonable health or environmental risk. King said the company is conducting an internal investigation into the registration and labeling matter.

The product being recalled comes in a bright yellow jug with a green circular cap in a 4.5-pound size with a UPC number 073561008365 and in an 8-pound size with UPC number 073561048361. It has been sold nationwide since December 2006 and accounts for about $10 million of the company's roughly $3 billion in annual sales, King said.

The products should not be used or disposed of in the trash or drain, the EPA said. Consumers should store them in a cool, dry place until the EPA has more information on the contents.

Scotts is based in Marysville, about 30 miles northwest of Columbus.

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