Yesterday thanks to Mike I learned about a tactic called Greenwashing. It's basically deceptive marketing to make people think a product is certified organic or all natural and safe. So yesterday I learned that the few Organic Choice products I had picked up are not really organic. Damint! I am going to either toss out what's left or take it to a S.A.F.E. disposal site. Of course that doesn't undo the fact that such product is already in my soil :/
Anyway, after the learning I soaked up yesterday I returned to my computer with a fresh brain today... and started thinking about the coupon Home Depot emailed to me yesterday... A biy one get one free for any 32 oz. Ortho Elementals. I had looked up what the product was briefly yesterday to see one (there are four types listed on HD's site) was an "organic" insecticidal soap. I was thinking of getting it this weekend.
This morning I decided to investigate this product a little. It turned into much more than a little and I am not happy at all (except that I didn't buy it). I sent what I found off to Green UPGRADER and Mike, and I was gonna wait for more experienced people to look into it... but I'm so pissed I'm sharing now! All emphasis in quoted text is mine.
So here's our culprit:
Notice that big blank green area at the bottom of the sticker?
Remember that for later...
So the most important info gained from Home Depot's site is the following:
- If you click the Zoom View link to read the labels you find -
- The white sticker on the spray head reads "MAY BE USED UP TO DAY OF HARVEST"
- One the main label sticker it reads "For organic gardening"
- Product Description tab has the following statement: " "The soap can be used up to the day of harvest and is organic for safe use" and "Organic formula for safe use in your garden"
- Specifications tab states: "Organic : No" <---- RED FLAG PEOPLES!
Um, that's some kinda contradiction there. Is it organic or no? Also the use of the word "harvest" here obviously implies they expect you to use this product on your veggie, herb and fruit plants. So it has to be safe right? Off to the manufacturer's website!
This product is owned by Scotts! On that subject let's just say Scotts=Miracle Grow=Round-Up=MONSANTO for now...
On to Scotts info on the Ortho Elementals Insecticidal Soap. First the product's General tab states "does not persist in the environment, can be used for organic gardening" and under the Details & Usage tab subheading Benefits "For organic gardening" I also found a link on this product's page to a PDF of the product labeling. The one saving factor I find is a note that "THIS FILE IS NOT PRODUCTION READY". So there may have been changes before the final labels that appear on the product were printed. That said:
- PDF Page 1 (FRONT LABEL): states "For Organic Gardening"and has the OMRI Listed trademark in what is a blank green area in the picture from Home Depot and Scott's product page for this item. This area also includes active ingredient info and some typical warnings.
- PDF Page 2 (BOOK-OUTSIDE VIEW): "May be applied to edibles up to day of harvest."
- PDF Page 3 (BOOK-INSIDE VIEW PAGE 2): "May used on edible crops up to and including day of harvest."; "For use...on: fruit and nut tress (e.g., apples, cherries, peaches, pears, pecans, almonts); corn; soybeans; melons; tomatoes; vegetables (e.g., beans, cabbage, cucurbits, peas, potatoes); figs; small fruits (e.g., grapes, strawberry, rasberry); citrus..."
- PDF Page 5 (the spray head sticker): "MAY BE USED UP TO DAY OF HARVEST L0270356000"
Please note - I have not physically seen a bottle of Ortho Elements yet to see if the above statements from Scott's product website made it all the way to print. I am going to try to stop by a Home Depot today to check it out and will update this post after that.
***UPDATE - I have physically seen this product***
***UPDATE - I have physically seen this product***
So Scott's really WANTS you to use this on your edible plants. No way that they can deny that after seeing this label info final or not. And since their label is at some point intended to include the OMRI Listed endorsement... off to OMRI.org!
On the Organic Materials Review Institute's site under the info for Ortho Elementals Insecticidal Soap I found the following Restriction for this product's use cleared stated on the drop-down tab:
"May be used as an algicide/demosser, herbicide or insecticide if the requirements of 205.206(e) are met, which requires the use of preventative, mechanical, physical, and other pest, weed, and disease management practices. When used as an herbicide may only be used for farmstead maintenance (roadways, ditches, right of ways, building perimeters) and ornamental crops, nonfood crop uses only; use on any food crop or fallow fields is prohibited."
Holy CRAP! As of this moment it is blatantly apparent to me that Scotts is not only misleading, they are flat out LYING about this product, and probably the other Elementals product as well. I admit I don't know enough about OMRI and their standards, etc. to know if this means this a truly organic product or not - but the fact that it's PROHIBITED TO USE ON ANY FOOD CROP leads me to strongly believe it is not. In fact, it also lacks and USDA Certified Organic labeling either.
So in case you didn't guess - I'm not buying the product. I'm going home to quarantine anything I can find labelled Ortho, Miracle Grow or Scotts in the garage (though dad shall be pissed that includes his grass seed). I don't know how or why OMRI has restricted it from use on edible plants. I don't really care at this point, because if that is the most up to date info OMRI has on the product, then Scotts is LYING and very possible PUTTING THE CONSUMER AT RISK by pushing this product on your organic edible garden.
I'm gonna contact my local Home Depot's about this and the nurseries I visit as well.
Shame on you Scotts.