EPA orders certain Scotts’ pesticides off shelves

The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware and other retailers to stop selling pesticides the group says were mislabeled from Scotts Miracle-Gro.

The retailers were told April 28 to remove Scotts’ weed preventer and related pesticides from their shelves because the products “carried invalid registration numbers,” the EPA said. Federal law states that all pesticides must be submitted to the federal government so risks to people or the environment can be evaluated.

Because of the recall problems, Scotts Miracle-Gro postponed the release of its second-quarter financial report by nearly a week. The Marysville, Ohio-based lawn and garden company said it will release results for the second quarter ended March 31 on May 5 instead of the previously scheduled April 29.

“Over the past week, most of our leadership team was consumed with issues related to the product recalls we announced,” said Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO Jim Hagedorn. “Those events have prevented us from adequately preparing for our earnings release and conference call.”

Scotts said the problem was caused by a former employee who did not follow product registration rules. The company has recalled its Miracle-Gro Shake ’n Feed All Purpose Plant Food plus Weed Preventer, as well as Bonus S Max and Turf Builder Plus 2 Max.

Scotts said that the products represent less than 1 percent of the company’s more than $2.9 billion in annual worldwide sales.