After this article was posted to the Garden Writers Listserv, a
lively discussion ensued in which the Forbes writer was criticized for
referring to soil as "dirt" and other missteps, and Scotts was declared to
be notoriously "unresponsive to press inqueries." And there was some
of the behind-the-scenes gossip we’d expect from industry writers, like
the possible explanation that the wife of Scotts’s new president is an
"avid organic gardener." (I get it – it’s the power of pillow talk! I feel a ’50s flashback coming on.)
Via Susan McCoy
All of which was timely for me since my chat yesterday with folks at a local environmentally responsible nursery.
The manager asked me did I use Roundup? Sure, I say, for poison ivy.
Okay, so how would I react if I heard they’d suddenly stopped
selling it? Simple: What else works? And he told me about
products called Weed Attack and Burn-out, neither of which I can find
on the Internet. Can a product actually exist nowadays without Google
knowing about it, I wonder? What’s up with that? I was glad to hear that they sell a 20
percent concentration of vinegar, which a professional gardener buddy
of mine was just telling me is a terrific weedkiller. "Just don’t expect results with grocery-store vinegar," she warned.
And speaking of all things Roundup, Fine Gardening has a new article about it by a "landscape consultant and arborist" who, after telling us to use care in its application, confesses that "I coughed for 4 weeks after indiscriminate spraying with Roundup." Oops. I bet she gets rid of unwanted critters using the Dick Cheney scattershot method. And I love this quote from the Material Safety Data Sheet, that spraying with Roundup is "practically non-toxic" to birds, honeybees and earthworms. What an endorsement! The Fine Gardening writer complains that that language is "vague." To say the least. Who writes these data sheets, anyway? Wikipedia failed to answer that one for me. Anybody know?
For more fun with verbal trickery, check out what Scotts has to say about its social responsibility. I was eager to read their position on "Green Lawns and a Healthy Environment" and disappointed to find there a rousing defense of turfgrass but exactly nothing – zip – about what’s best to use on it. That would have been a Pulitzer-winning feat of writing. Or whatever prizes they give out for achievements in corporate obfuscation.
Late-breaking news addendum: New findings about dangers of Roundup published by Project Censored. Scroll down to #13, passing on your way another topic we’ve looked at here – genetically engineered foods (#11).Posted by Susan Harris on September 14, 2006 at 4:07 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.