Despite scientific proof that poinsettias are nontoxic, misinformation has a way of spreading like a weed around the holidays. When that myth crept into an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blog recently, a Society of American Florists (SAF) member quickly responded to set the blogger and the record straight.
“Poinsettias are not poisonous. Please check your facts before publishing such a post,” wrote Steven Newman, Colorado State horticulture professor, in response to an article titled “Be Careful With That Green Thumb.”
Jennifer Sparks, SAF’s vice president of marketing, also reached out to the agency. In an e-mail to Peter Grevatt, director of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection, she wrote: “The poinsettia is the most widely tested consumer plant on the market today, proving the myth to be false.” Sparks also cited some of the research supporting its safety.
Grevatt apologized “for the misinformation” about the popular holiday plant. “We have flagged the reference to poinsettias on the blog posting and referred readers to the comments pointing out our error,” he wrote in an e-mail. “I hope this addresses your concerns.”
For more information on SAF, visit its website at SAFNow.org.