Ohio judge accepts Scotts Miracle-Gro guilty plea

COLUMBUS (AP) — A judge has accepted a guilty plea by Ohio lawn and garden company Scotts Miracle-Gro to violating federal environmental laws while deferring a decision on a deal that requires the company to pay a $4 million fine and give $500,000 to help support wildlife study and preservation.

The Marysville-based company faced allegations it used a toxic pesticide on birdfeed sold nationwide for two years, including six months after employees warned against it.

The government also says a manager used bogus federal documents to obtain state registrations for several products and created fake correspondence between the company and the government when challenged.

U.S. District Court Judge James Graham on Tuesday accepted the guilty plea and said he’ll make a decision on the plea deal at sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

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