Scotts Weedol


Who are Scotts? Paying particular attention to the clause of the first sentence, according to their own website:

ScottsMiracle-Gro is dedicated to a beautiful world with industry-leading lawn, garden and outdoor living products and services. Through our innovation focus, strong retailer relationships and drive to improve the consumer experience, we have been instrumental in growing the $8 billion global consumer lawn and garden market and enhancing our leadership position.

I’m sure that new Chevy will help the beautiful world. Moving on. In Ireland, According to corporate watch:

Scotts acquired the Shamrock brand of UK and Irish peat products from Bord na Mona, Ireland. This gave the company “preferential access to Bord na Mona’s extensive peat reserves and an option to supply the shamrock brand in the leading continental European markets.

According to the company’s annual report, Scotts’ brands are supported by an annual investment of approximately $100 million in advertising. In the US nearly 4 out of 5 advertising messages in the lawn and garden industry come from Scotts.

Moving on. From a horticultural perspective, the organic matters website notes:

In Ireland Paraquat it is sold to farmers under several brand names including Gramoxone, and to amateur gardeners as Pathclear and Weedol. The Dept. of Agriculture has no plans to ban the chemical but its re-registration is currently under review by the EU. Within the EU it is banned in Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Ironically it is also banned in Switzerland which is the home of Syngenta,the multi national company which is the worlds major manufacturer of Paraquat.

But according to Reuters, Paraquat, previously one of the main ingredients of weedol, has been banned.

EU court reimposes ban on paraquat weedkiller LUXEMBOURG | Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:40am BST

(Reuters) – Europe’s second highest court banned the weedkiller paraquat on Wednesday, criticizing the European Commission for poor health and safety assessments when it authorized the chemical in the EU in 2003.

The ruling handed down by the Court of First Instance (CFI) endorsed an appeal by Sweden, which banned paraquat in 1983 until it was forced to comply with the EU approval issued 20 years later. More than 10 other EU countries had also banned it.

Paraquat, a fast-acting and acutely toxic chemical, became widely known when it was sprayed on Latin American marijuana fields in the 1970s as a defoliant.

Paraquat is marketed globally as Gramoxone by Swiss agrochemicals group Syngenta but is also available under other brand names.

Critics say it is impossible to handle paraquat safely and claim the chemical harms the lungs, skin and eyes of workers handling it. Paraquat producers deny these charges, saying that it provides safe and effective weed control, when used properly.

In its ruling, the CFI said the Commission’s authorization for paraquat — a directive dated in December 2003 — had failed to apply proper procedures and was not properly thorough in its assessments of paraquat’s effects on human and animal health.

“The Court of First Instance annuls the directive authorizing paraquat as an active plant protection substance,” it said in a statement.

“The Commission’s handling of the file does not satisfy the applicable procedural requirements and the directive fails to satisfy the requirement of protection of human and animal health,” the statement added.

And In Ireland it was. According to Teagasc paraquat was removed from use in Ireland on 11 July 2008. See the March 18, 2008 posting on this Teagasc site. You will have to scroll down or word search paraquat.

But it seems now another ingredient of key Weedol products in their line of herbicides is glyphosate. There are however warnings in a January 2010 organic and non gmo report [[well worth the read] about its usage. To the point were, comments by Don Huber, emeritus professor of plant pathology, Purdue University actually scared me.

He notes that the introduction of such an intense mineral chelator as glyphosate into the food chain through accumulation in feed, forage, and food, and root exudation into ground water, could pose significant health concerns for animals and humans and needs further evaluation.

What do your weedkillers actually contain. According to The Love The Garden [?] Website [a scotts miracle grow website as a by the way]:

  • Weedol® Gun!™ Rootkill Plus™ Contains glyphosate and pyraflufen ethyl
  • Weedol® 2 Contains diquat
  • Weedol® Rootkill Plus™ Concentrate Contains glyphosate and pyraflufen ethyl
  • Weedol® Gun!™ Max® Contains pelargonic acid
  • Weedol® Max® Contains pelargonic acid
  • Pathclear® Gun!™ Weedkiller Contains glyphosate, oxadiazon and diflufenican
  • Pathclear® Weedkiller PC Contains glyphosate, oxadiazon and diflufenican
  • Pathclear® Weedkiller LC Contains glyphosate and diflufenican
  • Pathclear® Gun! Moss & Algae Killer Contains benzalkonium chloride

Yummy! This of course is the same website/ chappie who gave you this video:

Of course here it says you can see the effects of the weedol in 2 days.

There was however a complaint lodged with ASAI. Funny how in Ireland whilst the bogs have been bought and the chemicals continue to be sold into our soils, someone manages to come up with this form of complaint.

From the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland [ASAI]

  • Bulletin 09/4
  • Batch No. 187
  • Ref 10388
  • Product Household
  • Advertiser Scotts Weedol
  • Agency GT Media
  • Medium Radio
  • Complaint
  • Advertisement:

The advertisement featured a man and woman discussing the need to wash a car and clean their driveway.
Wife: “Quick Eileen is coming around later to see my new car!”

Husband: “What’s that got to do with me?”

Wife: “The driveway is covered in weeds and moss, I can’t let her see it like that”

Husband: “Relax I’ll get some Weedol super fast, the new formulation is so fast acting you can actually see results in one hour.”

Wife: “That fast? Great that will give you time to give the car a wash.”

Husband: “What? Its brand new and the football is starting?”

Wife: “Well if you are as fast as Weedol superfast, you’ll be finished in time for the second half.”

Voice-over: “Weedol superfast see results in just one hour.”


The complainants considered the advertisement offensive as they said that it stereotyped the roles that husbands and wives play in the home.

One complainant said that the implication was that women complain and manipulate men. The other complainant said the advertisement inferred that females should talk down to their husbands or partners.

2006 Code

2.16 2.17 2.18

2002 Code

The advertisers stated that the advertisement had received clearance from the RTE Copy Clearance Committee and that they had not received any complaints.

They said that the interaction between the husband and wife was good-humoured typical family behaviour. They said that couples with different priorities tended to bargain with each other and compromise in order to accommodate each other’s wishes.

They said that no homemaking roles were described in the advertisement; the woman was not standing and complaining or being manipulative rather she was asking for her partner’s assistance.


Complaints Not Upheld.

The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the complainants’ concerns in relation to sex stereotyping in the advertisement.

They acknowledged that advertisers should be careful to avoid causing offence on grounds of gender. They should equally avoid sex stereotyping and any exploitation which could be considered demeaning to either men or women.

On balance, however, they did not consider that either character had exercised control over the other or that any issues of equality arose.

The Committee did not uphold the complaints.

Action Required:
No further action required.

Irish Milk ?

Irish farmers at present get just under 29 cents per litre of milk. Astonishingly, around 25% of all milk consumed in south of Ireland is imported. Consider also that there used to be 40 milk producers in Dublin and that there are now just 19. I personally am becoming quite concerned that the milk my daughter will drink, as decided by the supermarkets, may fairly soon not even be Irish.

I met with Jim Scully, secretary of The Dublin Milk Producers to find out why ?

Being honest, when efforts must resort to road signage in order to get the required attention, you know somethings not right… right ?


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Your Country Your Call

Monday night I was invited to a meeting in The Guinness Storehouse. Martin McAleese was coming along. So were some of Irelands top blogger people.

Your country your call is the brainchild of Martin McAleese


….is what I was told. I’d met Martin before. Nice guy. Ferdinand Von Prondzynski was there too – should have asked him  for my old DCU grounds job back 😉 To the point Your Country Your Call is pretty much an ideas generator to get this country grooving again. It’s about motivation. A rousing call maybe [?] but whatever one may say it is a better step in a more positive direction.

It’s not government run. Which I liked. It’s run [?] by ‘some people’ on a pro bono basis. They don’t get PR for it and probably won’t get much thanks… one in particular who I have spoke to is employed by Guinness to work solely on this project.

The big idea is that anyone from any country can come up with a brainwave… 3 lines of text… a youtube video…. however you wish to do so…. one enters it online and [you] could walk away with €100,000. However….

It must be for country benefit rather than individual benefit

Maybe you have an idea that could benefit the country…. maybe you have an idea that cold benefit your local town…. maybe you just have an idea. Maybe it’s been sitting on the back burner with all the rest of of I must do something with that[s].

So where do you go from here…. Well… the website most probably is a great place to start… go take a look. Have a cuppa. Jot down some thoughts and submit them… it is that simple.

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Brendan Smith, GM Food, Michael Creed and Teagasc


I’m not one for politcians being really honest. I understand politics. I just don’t trust too many of them. But this is one that you may enjoy. Sort of. Because it’s not until you get to the link at bottom of the page and see just how long Brendan Smith Minister, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Food takes to answer with anything of relevance to GM food, the question we all know he is trying his utmost aboility to avoid.

Reminds me of a football team trying to play out the last 10 minutes of a game in the oppositions half, right down by the corner flag… just to get a draw.

It summised quite well in this Michael Creed quote:

That is what makes a mockery of the Parliament.

First this statement from Michael Creeds website:


Govt attempt to gag Teagasc raised in Dáil

Fine Gael Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Spokesperson Michael Creed TD has accused the Govt of refusing to answer questions about a reported reprimand sent to Teagasc on the subject of Ireland’s GM-free policy. Speaking during Dáil Questions today (Wednesday), Deputy Creed has demanded that the Government publish any such letter sent to the State’s agri-food research body.

“The FF/Green Government likes to bang on ad nauseum about the ‘smart’ economy, but reports of this letter suggest it would rather its expert bodies were dumb.

“It appears a letter was sent from the Department of Agriculture criticising Teagasc researchers involved in a study on GM feed. This is a sinister development. What scientific research will the Agriculture Ministry seek to stifle next if it treads on Green toes? Which scientific body will be subjected to a Government gag next if its research happens to undermine the programme for government? The Minister has, in a most disingenuous fashion, refused to answer direct questions from me today when he should undertake to publish this letter in full.

“The study undertaken by Teagasc researchers concerned the impact of a GM feed ban on the Irish pig industry. The results suggest that replacing GM feed with non-GM feed would increase the production cost per pig by between €2.51 and €3.93 and cost the industry up to €13.8 million annually. The conclusion to be drawn is that the Irish pig industry would not survive in the GM-free environment envisaged in the programme for government and foisted upon us by the Greens’ presence at the cabinet table.

“Instead of spending his time writing to criticise the experts at his disposal the Minister would do better to heed the warnings in this study and embrace scientific evidence to avoid the destruction of the pig meat sector.”

And with thanks to the amazing people at Kildare Street it is possible to read the transcripts of what exactly ws said. Grab yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and time it on your watch as to how long it actually takes Brendan Smith TD to answer the question… this link:  Brendan Smith Michael Creed debate

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The Irish [green] Budget 2010



You may read this and suggest that I’ve skipped so many facts and figures to suit… but, I should stick to the programme that is all things green and Peter.

Also one should note that this isn’t an economics weblog [as much as I love the subject] and also that a much greater insight into that can be found over at The Irish Election site amongst the many I read regularly.

With that in mind may I just wish Deidre de Burca a bon voyage and a sincere good riddance. From a really green perspective I wonder what, if anything, was actually achieved apart from sitting down and collecting a pay cheque. That said, it seems a pay rise is on the way, plus expenses…. but of course.

…a very nice €120k salary at a time when salaries here are being cut all round her? I suppose a green politician’s got to do what a green politician’s got a do…

With regards to the 2010 budget itself….. I’ve split this into these sections:

  • carbon taxing
  • forestry
  • vehicles
  • notes from the book of estimates

I tried....

carbon taxing:

The economic and social implications of climate change are immense and it is the responsibility of Governments everywhere to change behaviour to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

The most effective way is to put a price on carbon. This will encourage innovation by incentivising companies to bring low carbon products and services to the market.

Changing behaviour takes time but a start has to be made. Today I am introducing a carbon tax equivalent to €15 per tonne. The detail is set out in the Summary of Budget Measures. The tax will apply to petrol and diesel from tonight. Increases to home heating oils and gas will apply from next May.

The application of the tax to coal and commercial peat will be subject to a commencement order to allow a robust mechanism to be put in place to counter the sourcing of coal and peat from Northern Ireland where lower environmental standards apply. A vouched fuel allowance scheme will be developed to offset the increases for low income families dependant on such fuels.

The yield from the Carbon Tax will be used to boost energy efficiency, to support rural transport and to alleviate fuel poverty. The Carbon Tax will also allow us to maintain or reduce payroll taxes.

Carbon taxes will be a feature of economies across the world in the coming years. Today’s announcement sends a positive signal to those gathered in Copenhagen, working for an ambitious agreement on global climate change, about Ireland’s capacity to show leadership.

The tax changes I am introducing today reflect my belief that tax can make some contribution to the reduction of the deficit, and will make a larger contribution in later years. But as we know from our recent history, we cannot rely solely on taxing our way out of our difficulties.

With regard to forestry:

Agriculture is an important component of our economy and this Government has not hesitated to offer this crucial sector support where it was most needed. We responded rapidly to the pig dioxin crisis last year, where we provided some €200 million to save that industry and the jobs within it. We have made a large investment in agricultural infrastructure through the Farm Waste Management Scheme. We remain committed to supporting an environmentally sustainable agriculture sector and are in discussions with the European Commission with a view to introducing a new five year agri-environmental scheme. I have agreed to provide €50 million from within the existing allocation to support this scheme.

I am also providing more than €121 million for Forestry and Bio-energy. This includes a capital provision of €116 million to plant a further 7,000 hectares of trees next year. This demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to this vital sector as set out in the Renewed Programme.

This may sound like a lot of money but one should also note that

  • The current programme sets to plant 20,000 hectares of forest p.a.
  • Only 10% of Ireland is forested compared to the EU average of 36%
  • This should reach 17% by 2035
  • It will take 80 years to reach the EU average at current planting rates. This will reduce that by 4 a little over months.

Improving the energy efficiency of our cars

The Government wants to encourage the increased use of environmentally friendly electric cars and the development of new technology in this field. To that end, the VRT exemption for electric vehicles and the VRT reliefs of up to €2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are being extended by two years until 31 December 2012. We will also provide support to offset the initial battery costs for such cars. This will help in fulfilling our ambitious goals to reduce transport related emissions.

I am also introducing a car scrappage scheme, to run from 1 January until 31 December 2010. VRT relief of up to €1,500 per new car purchased will be made available under the scheme, where a car of 10 years or older is scrapped under certain conditions. The scheme will have the environmental benefit of removing some older, potentially less safe and polluting vehicles from the road. Details of the scheme are provided in the Summary of Budget Measures.

Others notes of interest come from the Book of Estimates

The Department of Agriculture and food takes an overall drop of €247,937

  • With reference to programme expenditure: the development of agriculture and food budget will drop by 27% from €372,060 to €270,808
  • forestry and bioenergy will increase by 2% from €119,604 to €121,845
  • rural environment will decrease by 11% from €369,129 to €330,000
  • An Bord Bia grant in aid for general expenses will decrease by 4% from 28,221 to 27,230

and from carbon

  • Under the transport estimates [roads] carbon reduction measures will increase from €10,000 to €25,000
  • Under the Department of Environment the carbon fund drops 34% from €50,000 to €33,223 and Climate Change Commitments are noted down 32% from €2,200 to €1,500. Under heritage The National Parks and Wildlife Service takes a reduction of 8% from €34,848 to €32,048. Overall the Dept takes a hit of €345,021

Peter Donegan MI Hort
telephone: 01-8078712

*note: to date no politician has answered the above call. Dan Boyle Of The Greens did say he would talk to me…. but I’ve heard nothing as yet. If this changes I will let you know here.

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