As a follow-up to our last post about the National Wildlife Federation's disappointing partnership with the Scotts MiracleGro corporation... National Wildlife Federation and Scott's MiracleGro issued this joint statement today:
So, you might be wondering... what exactly is this pending legal settlement that's causing such problems? Why, nothing more than the discovery that from 2005 through 2008, Scotts sold 73 million units of birdseed coated in pesticides that was toxic to birds. Even after being told by its own scientists that the birdseed was likely causing damage to birds along with fish and other wildife, Scotts continued to sell it (the pesticide was meant to keep insects from eating the birdseed while in storage). And as of Friday, Scotts pled guilty to this in federal court and agreed to pay millions of dollars in fines. (Learn more here.)
Up until now, I'd been willing to say that I could understand why NWF decided to partner with Scotts, even if I didn't support the decision. After all, it takes a lot of money to support the kinds of really good programs that NWF has (and they really do have some good programs), and a corporate partnership with oodles of money could be very tempting. But the more I think about it, the angrier I get. Because there's no way that at least some of the folks at NWF didn't know about this lawsuit in advance, and yet they had the gall to make their partnership announcement just days before the settlement took place. NWF agreed to make a deal with the devil, and they wound up with major egg on their face.
In my book, NWF has a of work to do to regain my trust before I'll be trusting them with my donated money again. And as for Scotts? I've purchased the very occasional MiracleGro and other Scotts products in the past, but you can bet that I won't in the future. Over and over again I learn the message... it's better to spend a little more money to deal with smaller companies who truly have an interest in protecting the environment. The fastest way consumers can send a message is with their pocketbooks.
OK, enough of the soapbox. Back to all the good things that happen in My Florida Backyard - we're still spotting lots of monarch and sulphur butterflies, but no red admirals or buckeyes yet. Has anyone seen these spring species flying in Central Florida yet? Let us know!