The EPA's fact sheet on pirimiphos-methyl states that "[a]lthough pirimiphos-methyl is highly toxic to birds and fish, these risks are not of concern based on the use pattern", indicating that this chemical is not intended to be applied to anything intentionally fed to birds.
According to court documents, the Scotts Miracle-Gro company added the pesticides, Storcide II and Actellic® 5E, to their wild bird feeds to prevent insects from consuming the products during storage.Neither pesticide is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in bird foods.Under the law, civil violations are assessed fines of not more than ,000 per offense whilst criminal violations of FIFRA are assessed fines of "not more than ,000 per offense or imprisonment of not more than 1 year or both". If Scotts Miracle-Gro's plea proposal is accepted by the judge, I think it would be the maximum allowed under the law. Further, if these penalties are accepted by the judge, this decision may possibly be the highest ever levied under FIFRA.
According to my sources, just the proposed 0,000 "donation" to environmental groups is "substantial" under this law.
One employee, a pesticide chemist, approached management about these dangers in the summer of 2007, whilst the other employee, an ornithologist, notified management in the autumn of that same year.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro company ignored these warnings and continued to produce and distribute their poisoned birdseed products for at least another six months, until March of 2008.
But it would appear that not all sellers were aware of this product recall.
I found one story about a San Diego county couple who lost nearly all of their domestic aviary birds at the end of January 2010 after feeding Scotts Miracle-Gro Morning Song Wild Bird Seed that they had recently purchased from a local Wal-Mart [story].
At the same time, a federal registrations manager employed by the Scotts Miracle-Gro company intentionally falsified pesticide registration documents for two other products sold by the company, "Scotts Garden Weed Preventer & Plant Food" and "Scotts Lawn Service Fertilizer With Halts".