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.
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.
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?