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Wednesday, July 11, 2007 02:44 am

The straight poop

Guess who’s responsible for frivolous lawsuits?

Untitled Document Corporate executives are always whining to Congress, the courts, the media, and anyone else who’ll listen that they are besieged with lawsuits, and they constantly demand laws to prevent people from suing them. But guess what group does more suing than anyone else? Corporations! For example, consider Scotts Miracle-Gro, a multibillion-dollar global chemical corporation that is suing a tiny upstart firm named TerraCycle, a maker of all-natural garden products. TerraCycle’s bestseller is an eco-friendly plant food made of — are you ready? — liquefied worm poop. Started in 2003 by a 25-year-old college dropout, the company feeds organic scraps to worms. The resulting waste is then brewed into a compost tea and put into recycled soda bottles that are collected from around the country by school groups and charities. Scotts, however, is not charmed by its fledgling competitor. This maker of synthetic plant food, which controls some 60 percent of America’s lawn and garden market, is pounding tiny TerraCycle with a lawsuit. Using a pack of corporate lawyers, Scotts asserts that TerraCycle is deceiving consumers because its packages include a green-and-yellow color scheme on its label — the very colors used by Scotts. Anyone who looks at the two products, however, can immediately see the difference — and see how frivolous this lawsuit is. Start with the big words “Worm Poop” on TerraCycle’s label. There’s a clue! Plus, the packages have totally different shapes. As for the green and yellow, no corporation can own colors, and many garden-care companies rather naturally choose green and yellow for their color schemes.
To learn seven ways you can help TerraCycle fend off this abusive assault by a bullying corporation, go to
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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