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EPA Orders Scotts to Stop Selling Certain Pesticides

Posted: April 23, 2008

In Spring 2008, EPA began issuing enforcement actions against The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and its affiliates (Marysville, OH) due to problems that have been identified with some of its products.

In Spring 2008, EPA began issuing enforcement actions against The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and its affiliates (Marysville, OH) due to problems that have been identified with some of its products.  This Web page describes the status of the various products subject to EPA enforcement action.

In April and May 2008, EPA ordered The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and its affiliates (Marysville, OH), as well as major retailers, to stop distributing and selling four pesticide products that were unregistered or improperly labeled. Scotts recalled these products from retailers, consumers, and the company’s lawn care affiliate, Scotts LawnService. On October 31, 2008, EPA issued an Amended Stop Sale Order that allows Scotts to sell one of these products (“SouthernMax” or “Scotts Bonus S Max Southern Weed & Feed and Fire Ant Killer”) provided the product is properly labeled according to EPA requirements.

As part of EPA’s investigation into Scotts pesticide products, in June, September and October 2008, and January and February 2009 EPA issued “stop sale, use or removal” orders for 19 more Scotts products that are unregistered, improperly labeled, make false or misleading claims, contain statements that EPA did not approve as part of the products’ registration, or make claims that were not supported by submissions of required scientific studies.  Additional information is provided below about each product and the issues of concern.

Retailers can continue to distribute and sell their current stock of the 19 products affected by the June, September and October stop sale orders.  However, certain stocks that remain in Scotts’ facilities must be relabeled or repackaged with EPA-accepted labels.  EPA may amend or issue stop sale orders that would allow Scotts to resume selling and distributing some of these products from its facilities once they are properly labeled according to EPA requirements. One Scotts’ product will be returned to its manufacturer, Golden Gate Designs, for appropriate handling or modification. While EPA is allowing products already in the hands of retailers to be sold, consumers can contact Scotts at 1 (888) 270-3714 or through their web site at www.scotts.com, to obtain corrected label directions.

Before a pesticide can be sold or distributed, it must be registered with EPA to protect public health and the environment.  As part of the registration process, a company must ensure the pesticide meets the claims made on its label.  To ensure the safe use of pesticides, companies are also required by federal law to provide accurate information and instructions on the product label.  Companies wanting to amend pesticide labels are required to seek EPA approval. Pesticide products must comply with federal regulations to maintain consistency, avoid confusion, and ensure that products can be used properly and safely.

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