Miracle Gro [Not-So] “Organic Choice” products

Scotts Miracle Gro organic choiceI work really hard to assume the best about people and businesses. But just every once in a while I run across something so blatant that a bitch session is needed.

This is one of those times.

Scotts Miracle Gro Company has an entire line of “Organic Choice” lawn and garden products. (You can search for the products on your own, as I’m not going to do Scotts the favor of linking to their product pages.)

Scotts has decided to plaster the words “organic” and “all natural” all over the packaging of these products in nothing more than an attempt to prey on homeowners and gardeners who are truly trying to make better choices about the chemicals they use around their home and garden.

But Scotts isn’t lying…technically.

Scotts is using the literal definition of the word “organic” in an age when people assume that if something is labeled as “organic” it means the product is USDA certified organic.

GreenUpgrader says,

So, how can Scotts put “organic” on the label when the product isn’t organic? Easy! “Organic” just means “derived from living matter.” They didn’t say they were USDA Certified Organic, which would hold them to a completely different set of standards. It’s up to us as consumers to know the difference, and marketers prey on our good intentions with confusing labeling like this.

Tricky move, Scotts!

Becky Striepe at GreenUpgrader goes on to say that the label on the bottle of Scotts Miracle Gro Organic Choice plant food her husband picked up at the store listed the ingredients as 6 percent total nitrogen derived from fermented sugar beet molasses. “Hey, what’s bad about that?” you might ask. But according to Becky’s article,

Thanks to lobbying from Monsanto, the majority of sugar beets here in the U.S. are genetically modified, so unless these were organic beets, that means this fertilizer was probably genetically modified, too. I’m sure that Scotts would have mentioned it if their beets were organic, since they plastered the term on the front of the packaging.

Oh and by the way, what makes up the other 94% of the product isn’t listed on the bottle or on the company’s website.

I’m always very slow to whip someone with the “greenwashing” stick, but in cases of Eco-Snobbery like this one from Scotts Miracle Gro, they deserved to be whipped.

Hey Scotts…

Crap like this is one of the reasons I even came up with the term “eco-snobbery”. I’d be all for it if you were taking small steps towards making your products greener (and you should take pride in any size step taken on that journey, by the way), but to totally and blatantly greenwash an entire product line like this is unacceptable.

You don’t have to make everyone think you’re super green to be a company that doesn’t suck, but trying to do so makes you suck all that much harder.

Do us all a favor and quit lying. Didn’t Mama Scott teach you guys any better than that?

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About Jeffrey Davis

Yo, I'm Jeffrey, founder of and editor in chief here at Eco-Snobbery Sucks. I live in Nashville, TN and am a writer, personal trainer, web designer, and wookie hugger. I hang out on Twitter some but you can find me more active on Facebook. Enjoy the site!

  • solargroupies

    Scott’s is deceptive at best. Organic chemicals are carbon-based, as in fossil-fuels, from which most fertilizers are derived. Many consumers don’t have the critical thinking skills or the science knowledge to distinguish this from “green” products. Shame on Scotts!

  • JJJJ

    Well actually it isn’t even organic to their own standards.  I got a bag that was full of tiny pieces of glass shards and metal.  I’m pretty sure that glass and metal are not derived from living matter.  I’m glad I don’t have kids or pets, they would be cutting themselves up in my back yard.

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  • Kenmast

    OK, so what is a good organic plant food for tomatoes?  Most of the ones I see are derived from feather meal or pasturized poultry manure or pig manure or pig bones or pig blood.  Excuse me, but I don’t eat chickens or pigs, so why would I want their sh*t feeding my tomatoes?

    Can anyone help on this?

    • Jeffrey Davis

      Hey Kenmast. Good point and question there. I relayed your question to our facebook fans and they came up with some pretty nice answers for some organic plant food for tomatoes. Check out their replies – http://ow.ly/baq1Q.

      Does that help?