Lawn and garden products company Scotts Miracle-Gro (IW 500/283) will pay $12.5 million in fines for poisoning bird feed and violating pesticide laws, officials said Friday.

Scotts will pay record criminal and civilian penalties for a litany of pesticide violations, including "illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds," the Justice Department said in a statement.

The company pleaded guilty in February to that violation as well as falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides.

A Columbus, Ohio, federal court on Friday sentenced Scotts to pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for 11 criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

In a separate agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which resolves additional civil pesticide violations, Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects.

Both the criminal and civil settlements are the largest under FIFRA to date, the Justice Department said.

"As the world's largest marketer of residential-use pesticides, Scotts has a special obligation to make certain that it observes the laws governing the sale and use of its products," said Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice.