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Selling Toxic Bird Seed.

This is a real pleasant item from corporate America:

On the same week Scotts Miracle Gro tried to buy an image upgrade by sponsoring the National Wildlife Federation, word has come out of a federal court that the company will pay millions of dollars in fines for selling bird seed it knew was tainted with pesticides toxic to birds.

Though the company had no comment yesterday, it pleaded guilty to charges that it sold 73 MILLION UNITS of tainted bird seed from 2005 to 2008. According to an article in today’s Columbus, Ohio, newspaper, the company continued to sell the bird seed “despite warnings in the summer and fall of 2007 from a pesticide chemist and an ornithologist, both of whom worked for the company.”

I have really got to stop being surprised by human beings.  I find it just about unthinkable that high-ranking people in a large company would knowingly sell poison for people to feed to wild animals – millions of knowing units of it, no less.  If I had a child who gave the old lady down the block poison to put in her birdfeeder, I’d be astonished at the child’s malice and deception.  And he sure as hell would get punished.  But this is adult behavior.  And of course no one really will get punished.  “Corporations are people,” as Mr. Romney says.  And the “person” who did this therefore has gotten his $4.5 million punishment.  Accountability is just about the only recourse we have, but it is meager shift for honor and responsibility.

Needless to say, the maker of Miracle Gro and a whole bunch of other lawn products might not be the kind of company gardeners and homeowners want to do business with anymore.  The news that Scott’s has now become a major supporter of the National Wildlife Federation only taints the latter, I think.