bird seed recall

April 14, 2008

in Birds

A friend sent me this:

Scott's Bird Seed Voluntary Recall

Major manufacturer of wild bird seed and animal food products, The Scotts Company LLC announced a voluntary recall of certain varieties of Morning Song, Scotts, Country Pride and various private label branded wild bird (Royal Wing from Tractor Supply) and animal food products due to the use of unapproved pesticides.  The store recall is for seed and suet products packaged on or before March 12, 2008.  The Scotts Company replacement of the products at distributors is currently underway.  The company has received fewer than 10 calls in the last two years regarding a possible connection between these products and bird mortalities at feeders.  There is no evidence, however, demonstrating any harm caused to humans, pets, wild birds or other wildlife. The company's Niger Thistle Seed products are not effected.

I think the spin the company statement put on this was, hmm, interesting; bolding is mine:

Dear Fellow Bird Lover,

You might find that your favorite Scotts, Morning Song or Country Pride wild bird or wild animal food isn't available where you normally buy it.

We are in the process of replacing these products because we determined that we needed to stop applying certain insect controls. These controls were used to make sure that our bird and animal food wasn't infested with moths and other problem-causing insects.

The insect controls that we had used are EPA-approved for use on some stored grains, including grains that may be turned into human food. However, the insect controls are not EPA-approved for wild bird food or wild animal food.

We believe that the wild bird food and wild animal food did not constitute a significant health risk to wild birds, small animals or humans who handle the food.

We have discontinued use of the unapproved insect controls.


Personally, I don't buy bird seed that is distributed by a company that in 2007 had $2.8 billion in net sales of lawn products and pesticides, especially one that has such an unflattering corporate profile.  I get my seed from a locally owned business or feed store.

 And while you are not bolstering Scott's profits via bird seed purchases, check out the Beyond Pesticides web site for a host of reasons not to buy most of the other stuff they push.  They have downloadable fact sheets such as the health and environmental effects of commonly used lawn pesticides. Pesticides and birds don't mix.


{ 8 comments }

anon April 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm

"insect controls" – that is really choice. That marketing person should be getting hired away by a Republican think tank any day now :-).

Pat Jennings April 15, 2008 at 8:05 am

This should not be confused with bird seed by Scott Pet of Rockville, IN. Scott Pet NEVER uses pesticides in food and seed production, so products are completely safe for animal consumption and human handling.
[Comment edited by admin due to commercial nature]

JP April 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Wow, great post. Same goes for your March 30th post. Thanks for doing the research on these… I may link to them.

Shelley April 20, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Good info – I want to make sure I'm feeding my little birdies the healthy stuff!
Shell

Julie Bergkamp January 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Avian Advisors, decides to terminate contract with The Scotts Company:
Last May 2008, 30 days after the Bird food recall our president Mario Olmos made the decision to terminate the contract with The Scotts Company, and its wild bird food division. The contract was officially terminated on November 2008, after six months required by the contract. Our company is no longer bound doing business with Scotts and does not have any noncompete restriction. We prefer not to comment on the reasons for which the contract was terminated, but our decision was also made based on the integrity and principles of our company and our collaborators.
Avian Advisors is no longer under any contract or conducting bird food research for Scotts Company. Today our company is continuing with new studies and developments in wild feeding behavior, and we expect to continue bringing new developments for a better birding experience in the industry of wild bird foods.

Scotts company filed a lawsuit against Avian Advisors:
Scotts filed two provisional patent applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in June of 2008 for new bird foods, identifying Mario Olmos, president of Avian Advisors as the inventor. According to the lawsuit, which was filed July 30 in U.S. District Court in Columbus. Scotts claims those foods, were developed for Scotts while Avian Advisors was under a contract to the company.

Scotts asked Mario Olmos to sign assignment documents, which would transfer the right, title and interest in the products to a Scotts subsidiary. Olmos refused to sign the initial draft of the assignments presented by Scotts, following the advice of his attorneys who negotiated new assignment documents with language that was acceptable to both Scotts and Avian Advisors. In fact, Scotts filed their lawsuit while attorneys from both parts were reaching negotiation for the assignment documents. Our company has never claimed property of rights of any of the inventions that arouse of the contract with Scotts. We are a consulting, research and development business, we are not a manufacturing company.

Last August 2008 we provided Scotts with the proper assignments documents, but the lawsuit was not dropped by Scotts. We believe the lawsuit was kept on file as a way to continue harassing our company and our president Mario Olmos, and to demand a contract termination release be signed as a condition to dropping the suit, a suit which Scotts has much deeper pockets than Avian Advisors, to fund. After leaving the suit on-file in district court for almost six months, neither Avian Advisors nor Mario Olmos has been served.
According to Dan Eaton from the Columbus Business First "Scotts declined to comment on the suit, Avian Advisors lawyer said he expects to suit to be dismissed".
Please contact us at info@avianadvisors.com with your comments or questions.

Avian Advisors LLC.
Public Communications.

Annette July 2, 2009 at 12:02 am

Recently we purched a bag Country Pride Wild Bird Food with the date of Feb. 11, 2009. We have been storing this bag opened in our home. After a few weeks of storing the bag opened, we noticed little back bugs everywhere! They were crawling inside the bag and outside the bag everywhere! We then looked around and found the were crawling on the carpet, pantry, walls, you name it! We decided to move the bag outside. A few days have gone by and we are still trying to get rid of these pesty little black bugs. I have searched online and can't seem to find what they are even called! They almost like ants, but a little bigger, we can't seem to get rid of them. I think they are attracted to water because we found them in our pets water dish. We also found them in the mash-potato box. We've never had a bug problem before. We don't believe the bite. Any suggestions?

Nuthatch July 2, 2009 at 9:18 am

These are probably one of the many species of small grain or flour beetles. You'll have to get rid of every box of starchy food you have in the house, including unopened containers. You see how small the adults are, and they are able to get into most packaging; the eggs and larvae are tiny and pale and may be infesting flour or bakery mixes without you being able to see them. Move all the stuff near where you store food — they like to hide under cans, etc. Vacuum, using a crevice devices, all your kitchen shelves, storage areas, etc. Wipe them down with plain water and vacuum again. Obviously, you don't want to use any type of toxic cleaner or insecticide where you store food. A very thorough cleaning and making really sure you discard every item they might feed on is the only way to get rid of them. Been there, done that.

Who knows what the date on your bag meant; even if it was a packaging date the seed could have been months old in storage before being packaged and shipped to your retailer. The insects could easily have originated with the seed, or you may have had an infestation that blossomed when they discovered the seed as a food source. Good luck.

Birdseed Feeder October 7, 2009 at 2:45 am

Thank you for posting this. This is vital information that should be available to as many people as possible…

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