(NaturalNews) Scotts Miracle-Gro, a popular household name in gardening and lawn care products, is the subject of a new class-action lawsuit that is seeking damages for the company's willful distribution and sale of bird seed products contaminated with toxic, unapproved insecticides. Courthouse News Service (CNS) reports that plaintiffs from Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Mexico have jointly filed the new suit, which follows an earlier suit in which Scotts Miracle-Gro pleaded guilty to knowingly selling poisoned bird seed to customers for over two years.
According to the latest suit, Scotts Miracle-Gro sold customers "defective and toxic bird feed products" between November 2005 and March 2008 when it knowingly applied Storcide II (chlorpyrifos-methyl) and Actellic 5E (pirimiphos-methyl), two illegal insecticide chemicals, to several brands of of its bird seed that include Country Pride, Morning Song, Scotts Songbird Selections, and Scotts Wild Bird Food. As a result, plaintiffs say they and thousands of others were ripped off by Scotts Miracle-Gro and its "criminal enterprise," which may have also poisoned countless bird species across the U.S.
"Scotts failed to disclose that its bird seed contained pesticides that were known to be highly toxic to birds," says the complaint. "Instead, [Scotts Miracle-Gro] knowingly sold millions of units of its defective and toxic bird seed products, knowing the products would be widely used to feed birds at purchasers' homes, in back yards and in wild and natural environments across the United States."
Scotts Miracle-Gro apparently started using the two chemicals as bird seed coating to prevent insects from ravaging the product in storehouses prior to shipment and use. But neither Storcide II nor Actellic 5E are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in bird feed, and the EPA specifically recognizes Storcide II as being extremely toxic to birds, fish, and other wildlife, which means it clearly has no place being used in food given to birds.
"Both chemical toxins act as cholinesterase inhibitors that result in overstimulation of the nervous system," says a piece published by the U.K.'s Guardian about both Storcide II and Actellic 5E. "Small doses of either poison cause symptoms that include nausea, dizziness, and confusion, and higher doses lead to respiratory paralysis and death."
Scotts Miracle-Gro scientists warned that insecticides threatened birds, company ignored pleas
The suit also alleges that during the summer and fall of 2007, a pesticide chemist and an ornithologist both working for Scott's Miracle-Gro came forward and warned their company that the use of Storcide II and Actellic 5E in bird feed was a serious threat to birds. Scotts Miracle-Gro allegedly ignored these warnings and continued to use the additives in bird feed for several years. According to the allegations, 73 million units of tainted bird feed were sold during this time.
During this same time, a federal registrations manager who was also employed by Scotts Miracle-Gro intentionally falsified pesticide registration documents for both Storcide II and Actellic 5E, which gave the illusion that both products were permitted for use in bird seed. When asked by the EPA for documents backing the use of the two chemicals, Scotts Miracle-Gro "fabricated correspondence and agency documents ... in an effort to deceive the EPA into believing it had registered these products but lost its files."
Chlorpyrifos linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
To make matters even worse, the active ingredient in Storcide II, chlorpyrifos-methyl, is one of the many chemical poisons linked to causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mysterious bee collapse phenomenon that has been observed all across the world. A paper published in both the American Bee Journal (ABJ) and Bee Culture explains how chlorpyrifos is one of several insecticides that has been found in bee pollen samples (http://www.beeccdcap.uga.edu/documents/CAPArticle16.html).
So Scotts Miracle-Gro illegally used highly-toxic insecticides in bird feed for several years, fabricated documents submitted to government agencies, ignored warnings by its own scientists that the chemicals were dangerous, and exposed countless millions of bees to chemicals that are more than likely contributing to their demise. Is this the kind of company the natural health community should continue supporting?
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, treble statutory damages, costs of suit, and reasonable attorneys' fees as part of their lawsuit. Numerous violations are also cited in the suit, including several state fraud laws and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.
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