The US Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and current enabling rules have been in place since the 1970's. From the customer viewpoint, there's no excuse for a nationally prominent firm formulating gardening products without proper safety testing and registration.
EPA is ordering Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., located in Marysville, Ohio, to stop selling and distributing two pesticide products that have not been registered with the EPA. The pesticides are "Garden Weed Preventer + Plant Food" and "SLS Fertilizer With .28 Halts" and are commonly used on lawns by homeowners.The Scott's Miracle Grow website offers this response.See the full recall notice on the USEPA website, here.
These products have not been registered with the EPA and are labeled with invalid EPA registration numbers. EPA has not reviewed any information about the safety of these products. Pesticide products must be registered with the EPA to protect public health and the environment.
Companies are not monolithic. People make mistakes and systems need fixing from time to time. The Chairman and CEO of Scotts had this to say in a letter (pdf file):
We sincerely apologize to our regulators, our retail partners, our consumers, our shareholders and our neighbors here in Central Ohio. We are taking a number of steps to avoid problems like this from happening again. This week, we retained an internationally renowned firm to help us understand how the actions of a single employee could cause such a problem and why our system of internal checks and balances didn’t catch it. I want you to know that the recalls we announced this week were caused by administrative breakdowns that resulted in our failure to properly register four of our products with the government.Apology is good. Even so, we were taken aback to see Smith and Hawken featured on the Scotts website.
Gardening is America’s favorite outdoor pastime and our products have always been designed with safety in mind so that our consumers can use them with confidence. That commitment is unwavering.
This comes down to wanting have the yard look more like an extension of home decor more than an intersection of nature and home.
Do we really need mulch piled around our homes and trees, such that we need to use chemicals to suppress weeds and keep the mulch looking like a carpet?
Are there greener solutions to the garden weed issue? How do Europeans manage weeds in border gardens?