A chemical company that specializes in selling bird feed sold 73 million bags of insecticide-contaminated wild bird food between 2005 and 2008.
A federal court plea agreement document recently ruled that Scotts Miracle-Gro, which makes chemical-based weed killers and fertilizers for gardens and lawns, is fined $4.5 million for being dishonest with its pesticide registration numbers on products and also selling dangerous birdseed in 2008.
The company offered wild birdseed covered with pesticides that were found to be “extremely toxic to fish and toxic to birds and other wildlife,” said a Columbus Dispatch article.
Between 2005 and 2008, Scotts distributed 73 million units of wild bird seed filled with bug-killing chemicals known as Storcide II and Actellic 5E, which are supposed to fend off insects while the feed sits in storage. Court documents now indicate that a pesticide chemist and ornithologist working for Scotts were against the routine, even as the company continued selling the stuff.
“The umbrella issue is that chemical companies don’t have our best interests at heart,” states Deb Martin, author of The Secrets of Backyard Bird-Feeding Success.
She believes bird feed companies like Wild Birds Unlimited have superior quality control and are more dedicated to keeping wildlife safe, even though this bird seed is often pricier than the stuff you see at big-box stores.
Fortunately, you can begin a low-cost, safer way to feed your birds this spring by planting bird-friendly natural foods around your yard.
“This is not as easy as going to the store and buying a bag of seed, but it’s a way of making sure that you don’t wind up giving your birds something that is poisonous,” Martin admits.
She also thinks that planting lots of sunflowers in sunny areas of your yard is a good idea. You can either leave them through the end of the season so they might offer a winter seed source for birds, or cut the flower heads and put them out during the winter.
Secondly, you can plant a garden bed of millet and sorghum that feeds your flying friends naturally. Planting native plants helps support birdlife while not offering much trouble to your garden maintenance.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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