MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Sept. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) today finalized settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to certain company products distributed and sold through 2009.
Following a Friday afternoon hearing in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, ScottsMiracle-Gro Chairman and CEO Jim Hagedorn said the DOJ's investigation identified conduct that was not consistent with the company's core values, but ultimately resulted in improvements to the company's regulatory compliance programs.
"As we reach closure on these issues, it's important for all of our stakeholders to know that we have learned a lot from these events and that new people and processes have been put in place to prevent them from happening again," Hagedorn said. "Our consumers are at the heart of our business, and I hope they'll see our openness, cooperation, and acceptance of responsibility are all a part of our commitment to provide products they can trust and rely upon."In 2008, the company conducted a voluntary recall of its wild bird food products when it discovered that they had been treated with a pest control product not authorized for use on wild bird food. The company also voluntarily disclosed the matter to the government. Later that same year, in an unrelated matter, the company recalled several additional lawn and garden products after it was discovered by the EPA that a former associate had created fraudulent documentation that allowed them – which were safe to use as directed and did not harm consumers or the environment – to be sold without proper approval from the agency. The former associate has pleaded guilty to federal crimes related to these activities and awaits sentencing. She has repeatedly acknowledged to law enforcement authorities that she acted alone.