Scotts Miracle-Gro to pay $12.5M over pesticides

COLUMBUS (AP) — Federal authorities say Ohio lawn and garden company Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay $12.5 million in criminal and civil penalties for violating federal pesticide laws.

The Justice Department says the penalties are the largest so far under those laws.

The Marysville-based company was sentenced today in federal court in Columbus to a $4 million fine and community service for criminal violations.

Scotts pleaded guilty to applying toxic insecticide to its wild bird food products and falsifying pesticide registrations. It also pleaded guilty to distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides.

Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million in civil penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects in a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Scotts says it has made changes to improve regulatory compliance.

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