Ministry of Controversy

Breaking News: Scotts/TerraCycle Suit Settled

This just in from the PR people at Scotts–more coming soon:

With your previous interest and coverage of The Scotts Company and TerraCycle litigation, I wanted to bring to your attention today’s settlement announcement, which is detailed in the following news release. 

TerraCycle has agreed that it no longer will make advertising claims of product superiority to Miracle-Gro products to ensure accuracy in its advertising. More specifically, TerraCycle has agreed that it will not claim that its products are better than, or more effective than, or as good as Miracle-Gro products. In addition, TerraCycle may not claim that any independent tests or university studies were conducted to support any such claims.

TerraCycle has also agreed to change its packaging so it will not use a green and yellow color combination, for which Miracle-Gro owns a trademark registration. This change will be made to avoid any possible confusion with Miracle-Gro’s trade dress.

The court order and the settlement agreement will be posted on TerraCycle’s www.suedbyscotts.com Web page. TerraCycle also agreed to phase out this site after three months.

Read our previous coverage here.  And here’s an AP story on the settlement.

Rant away.

Posted by on September 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm, in the category Ministry of Controversy.
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12 responses to “Breaking News: Scotts/TerraCycle Suit Settled”

  1. susan harris says:

    Damn confusing packaging – see for yourself: http://suedbyscotts.com/
    Uh, I take that back. They look nothing alike. But Scotts was right there protecting consumers from misinformation, like they always do.

  2. Pamela says:

    I hope Scotts realizes how much advertising it has handed TerraCycle with its bullying tactics. They’ve poked organic gardeners in the eye with their malicious lawsuit; that wasn’t very smart. Let them keep their yellow and green packaging; now we’ll know what to avoid. It’s shameful that profit was more important to them than promoting a healthier approach to gardening.

  3. sandra says:

    Well what a surprise – the big boys won again. When will they learn that nobody likes bullies, especially greedy bullies. Go to it TerraCycle, I hope that you have won a lot more customers. I will certainly be looking out for your products.

  4. Kim says:

    Just remember, TerraCycle, Scott’s Miracle Gro Organics Garden Soil has a slightly different shade of green and a couple of veggies (tomato and orange pepper) on their newly designed bags. The Organics Potting soil is actually orange and yellow, with maybe a pepper plant and a light purple petunia on the side. Just so you know not to put any vegetables on your label when you redesign it–I’m sure that you would agree that would

  5. Kim says:

    argh. My computer just crapped out on me for a few seconds and my comment posted before I was finished…

    In any case, it’s good to know that Scotts won’t have to be bothered by this little gnat of a company anymore. Now they can go back to brainwashing people about how you’re not a good American if you don’t use their Four-Step process in the spring, sign up for regular “lawn inspections” in the summer, fertilize and put down a preventitive for fall-germinating weed seeds in the autumn, and then think all winter about how you get to start the cycle all over again in the spring.

    It’s 11:30pm here, and I’m dead tired. And yet, I have never so badly wanted to go out and remove the rest of my front lawn as I do right now.

  6. emma - an English Gardener in New England! says:

    Well, maybe I’d better not use my hoard of Tetra Cycle in it’s “Original” packaging! It could be worth a ton on e-bay soon!!! ( Thank god I stocked up when Target had their gardening stuff 50% off !!). I too am working hard on losing more lawn next year – joined the National Arbour Day people, and ordered loads of trees and shrubs !

  7. jodi says:

    I’ve never bought anything that I know of that is made by Scotts–and never will. In fact I think I’ll write a gardening column about big bullies and little organic companies.

  8. angela says:

    While I am not a fan of synthetic fertilizers, I am happy to see this ruling. A legitimate organic fertilizer company wouldn’t make brash claims about its superiority over synthetic fertilizers without providing scientific research. More importantly, a legitimate organic fertilizer company is unlikely to make immature claims of “My fertilizer can beat up your fertilizer.” That attitude is the antithesis of what organic gardening is all about.

    Before you go out of your way to support TerraCycle, you might want to ask yourself the following questions. Is TerraCycle organic? What’s in TerraCycle? Why can’t I determine what’s in TerraCycle by looking at the bottle or the company website? Why, when I go to the Research page on their website, can’t I find any evidence of actual research results? Why did OMRI, the Organic Materials Review Institute, assign TerraCycle an R rating. According to OMRI, “An R status is assigned when one or more ingredients fit into a generic material category that is Restricted.” That means there’s something in TerraCycle that ain’t Kosher, organically speaking.

    Worm compost is supposed to be great stuff– it is reported to improve the biological health of your soil, the physical structure of your soil, plant growth rates, germination rates, crop yield and more. I’ve used worm compost (i.e. worm poop, worm castings) in my garden, though the tiny bag I paid $12 for convinced me to invest in a worm bin.

    Is TerraCycle worm compost? Well, no. It’s a small bottle of mysteriously clear liquid that costs seven dollars, can only be used as an organic fertilizer with restrictions, and whose ingredients may always remain a mystery. Seven dollars!

    Can I interest anyone in a seven-dollar bottle of Snake Oil?

  9. angela says:

    While I am not a fan of synthetic fertilizers, I am happy to see this ruling. A legitimate organic fertilizer company wouldn’t make brash claims about its superiority over synthetic fertilizers without providing scientific research. More importantly, a legitimate organic fertilizer company is unlikely to make immature claims of “My fertilizer can beat up your fertilizer.” That attitude is the antithesis of what organic gardening is all about.

    Before you go out of your way to support TerraCycle, you might want to ask yourself the following questions. Is TerraCycle organic? What’s in TerraCycle? Why can’t I determine what’s in TerraCycle by looking at the bottle or the company website? Why, when I go to the Research page on their website, can’t I find any evidence of actual research results? Why did OMRI, the Organic Materials Review Institute, assign TerraCycle an R rating. According to OMRI, “An R status is assigned when one or more ingredients fit into a generic material category that is Restricted.” That means there’s something in TerraCycle that ain’t Kosher, organically speaking.

    Worm compost is supposed to be great stuff– it is reported to improve the biological health of your soil, the physical structure of your soil, plant growth rates, germination rates, crop yield and more. I’ve used worm compost (i.e. worm poop, worm castings) in my garden, though the tiny bag I paid $12 for convinced me to invest in a worm bin.

    Is TerraCycle worm compost? Well, no. It’s a small bottle of mysteriously clear liquid that costs seven dollars, can only be used as an organic fertilizer with restrictions, and whose ingredients may always remain a mystery. Seven dollars!

    Can I interest anyone in a seven-dollar bottle of Snake Oil?

  10. angela says:

    Whoops, didn’t mean to double-post.

  11. Interesting how TerraCycle hasn’t commented as of yet they’ve been quite vocal. Check out our continuing coverage of the story
    http://www.sustainableisgood.com/blog/2007/09/scotts-and-terr.html

  12. ALKANKBLODO says:

    Snx for you job!
    It has very much helped me!

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