ScottsMiracle-Gro's Partnership With NWF Was Timed with Tainted Bird Seed News

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I wrote on Tuesday about the strange partnership between ScottsMiracle-Gro and the National Wildlife Federation, and about the firestorm that has surrounded the announcement. Environmentalists and wildlife lovers everywhere are (understandably) incensed at this partnership, and gardeners who had embraced the NWF's "Backyard Wildlife Habitat" program feel equally betrayed.

A live stream of a Q and A with NWF CEO Larry Schweiger did little to alleviate concerns by environmentalists. While assuring us that Scotts would not determine what the NWF would and would not do, and stating that the NWF was trying to change Scotts from within, he left questions such as "how much money, exactly?" up in the air. I watched the entire thing, and, as an environmentalist and gardener, I came away feeling empty and saddened.

Timing of the Announcement

It's not really a surprise that Scotts timed this particular announcement to best serve its own interests. SafeLawns.org reports this morning that the company is being fined $4.5 million dollars for falsifying records and knowingly selling over 70 million units of pesticide-tainted bird seed between 2005 and 2008 (SafeLawns has more details here.)

Also this week, Scotts is hosting an event in New Orleans about "saving the songbird" --- to help promote their line of bird seed.

So Scotts does what any good greenwashing corporation would do: spin itself as a company that really, really wants to change, loves songbirds, and only has the best interest of our kids at heart. Meanwhile, wildlife gardeners and environmentalists are left feeling betrayed by the National Wildlife Federation, an organization that many of us have long supported.

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Tags: Greenwashing