National Audubon Society President and CEO David Yarnold issued the following statement regarding the historic criminal penalties and civil settlement against Scotts Miracle-Gro Company for illegally applying insecticides to wild bird seed and other violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Both the criminal fines and the civil settlement, which total $12.5 million, are the largest ever under FIFRA.
"Scotts' behavor was outrageous, and they'll pay with consumers' trust. This strong action by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice is very important: It says that if companies harm birds or people, they will have to pay for the damage they cause," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold. "Millions of Americans – my own family included – enjoy feeding birds in our yards and communities, and we should be able to do so without fear. In fact, by providing food, water and shelter and by reducing or eliminating pesticides and gardening with native plants, we can help birds and our communities thrive."