Q&A – The disclaimer and warning portions on the MiracleGro AV potting soil bag

 

Janice H. asks Annie:

Q I was looking at the description for the MiracleGro AV potting soil.  I was a bit concerned about the disclaimer and warning portions.  Cancer causing ingredients??  Scary!  Can you shed any further explanation on which ingredients are supposed to cause cancer?

I’ve already dealt with having cancer and don’t want to have to deal with it again.  Should we be more concerned about this?

About this Item
Disclaimer: While we aim to provide accurate product information, it is provided by manufacturers, suppliers and others, and has not been verified by us. See our disclaimer.
Take care of your unique flowers with a potting mix especially for them. Use Miracle-Gro African Violet Potting Mix, blended for the specific needs of your African Violets. The mix feeds these plants for up to six months. For best results, use it with Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food and when potting or repotting indoor or outdoor container plants. Grow big blossoms with brilliant color with Miracle-Gro.
Blended for the specific needs of African Violets
Feeds up to 6 months
Grows big blossoms with brilliant color
Use when potting or repotting indoor or outdoor container plants
Use with Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food
Warnings:
California Proposition 65 Warning: WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm

 

A Hi Janice,

I can understand your concern.  It is always important to read and follow the directions on any type of chemical you use on your plants.  I recall seeing this warning on a variety of things when I lived in SoCal.  I am not able to shed any light on this for you in terms of specifics, but California has a very thorough website about Proposition 65 (California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986), and it does provide a list of the chemicals it covers.

I also had the opportunity to discuss this with Joyce Stork.  Here is what she said:   “It’s possible that this relates back to a vermiculite mine in Libby Montana that was apparently contaminated with asbestos.  I think Miracle Gro is one of those companies that uses regional subcontractors to fill the bags of potting mix to reduce shipping costs. They don’t have a lot of control over the specific products that go into those bags, so this may just be a legal safety net. To my understanding, no vermiculite is now mined in that area and other mining sites have not been reported as contaminated.  I think a direct question to Miracle Gro would be the only way to know for sure why the warning is there.”

I agree with Joyce that a direct question to Miracle Gro should get you more definitive answer.

I hope this helps,
Annie :-)

 

FOLLOW UP

Janice received a response from Scotts addressing the concerns over the warning label.

 

F Hi Annie,

I sent an e-mail to Scotts in regard to the bag of African Violet potting mix and expressed my concern about the cancer warning on the bag.  This is their response.

I don’t remember exactly where I found that information anymore, but it looks like it’s a moot issue with Scotts.  I’m thinking the cancer warning about the potting mix was from the Walmart website.  And I’m thinking that maybe it’s not something to be concerned about at this time.

 

R Thank you for contacting us and for the opportunity to help you with your gardening endeavors.

Organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. EPA have extensively studied the key ingredient found in Miracle-Gro products and found no link to cancer.

When using Miracle-Gro African Violet Potting Mix make sure to follow all label instructions. Container plants need to be placed in pots with adequate drainage holes. The size of the pot should be 1/3 the height of the upright plant, or 1/4 the width of a plant that spreads horizontally. Make sure to position the plant at the same level it grew before, then work fresh potting mix all around the plant.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us and for your interest in our products. Please feel free to contact us anytime we may be of assistance.

 

 If you have a question about African Violets that you would like answered, you can submit it at  Ask Annie!