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Scotts Miracle-Gro admits using pesticide on birdfeed

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A judge has accepted a guilty plea by Ohio lawn and garden company Scotts Miracle-Gro to violating federal pesticides law while deferring a decision on a deal that requires the company to pay a $4 million fine and give $500,000 to help support wildlife study and preservation.

U.S. District Court Judge James Graham said Tuesday he’ll make a decision on the plea deal at sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The Marysville-based company faced allegations it used a toxic pesticide on birdfeed for two years, including six months after employees warned against it.

The government also says a manager used bogus federal documents to obtain state registrations for several products and created fake correspondence between the company and the government when challenged.