OOPS! Scotts Miracle-Gro recalled after EPA order

May 3, 2008

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued “stop sale, use or removal” orders against Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. and its affiliates, for four illegal, unregistered, or improperly labeled pesticides.

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.

What happened?
EPA ordered Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., located in Marysville, Ohio to stop selling and distributing four pesticide products. Two of these products are illegal because they were never registered with EPA and display invalid registration numbers on the labels. The other two products are currently registered with EPA. However, Scotts sold and distributed these products before they were registered, which is a violation of federal law. The labels on these two products make false or misleading claims or fail to provide adequate safety instructions to protect people and 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 Department of Agriculture to analyze the products.

Scotts said it does not believe either product poses unreasonable health or environmental risks. 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 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.

For additional information go to:
Scotts: www.scottsmiraclegro.com, and EPA: www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/ptb/news

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