can scotts really be a partner to the environment?
ITRY TO KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT about specific companies and their products, except to recommend ones that I find useful or exemplary. Nothing good to say? I usually stay silent. But not today. Reading news of Scotts Miracle-Gro’s new partnership with the National Wildlife Federation—talk about strange, or shall we say deadly, bedfellows?—has gotten the better side of my good manners. How the partners in this greenwashing of an environmental villain plan to spin the reality that the manufacture and use of toxic chemicals can in any way be seen as a boon to wildlife, I do not know. [UPDATES: On Sunday, NWF came to its senses and canceled the deal. All links for coverage on the jump. Hooray!]
It’s not any more spinnable to my eye than the longtime association by Scotts—whose brands include Roundup, Miracle-Gro, Osmocote, and Ortho—with Monsanto has ever been.
The Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens blog has a good post on the subject of this latest Scotts partnership, which is rightly drawing much criticism for the NWF, as does Paul Tukey at SafeLawns dot org. The NPandWG post also explains the Monsanto-Scotts connection, for those unfamiliar; both stories talk about the pros and cons of the tactic of “working with the devil” as a catalyst to change as a possible explanation of when nonprofits take money from those who appear to be at odds with their missions. An important point, but I have to say: I’m not buying it in this case.
[UPDATE January 27, 2012: Scotts was fined in federal court for knowingly selling tainted bird seed. Paul Tukey has the story.]
[UPDATE: NWF came to its senses Sunday and canceled the deal, after Scotts pleaded guilty to knowingly selling the tainted seed. Hallelujah. Paul Tukey had the details. NWF posted this on their site.]