Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Mystery seeds: Amazon bans foreign plant sales in US

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Packages of unidentified seeds which appear to have been mailed from China to U.S. postal addresses are seen at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in Olympia, Washington (July 24, 2020)Graphic copyright
Washington State Dept of Agriculture/Reuters

Picture caption

The unknown seeds show up to have been posted from China to US addresses

Amazon states it has banned foreign gross sales of seeds in the US after hundreds of Americans obtained unsolicited packets of seeds in the mail, most from China.

The online retail large explained to the BBC that it will now only permit the sale of seeds by sellers centered in the US.

US officers explained gardeners need to not plant seeds of unfamiliar origin.

The packages are thought to be section of a world wide “brushing” scam to acquire optimistic evaluations for on line promoting internet sites.

Amazon’s new suggestions, in impact given that 3 September, also prohibit the sale of seeds inside of The us by non-US citizens. It extra that sellers may possibly be banned if they do not abide by the new suggestions.

But the retailer has not confirmed if its ban will prolong to other nations.

News of the coverage change was initially documented by the Wall Street Journal.

At the very least 14 plant species have been discovered among the secret deals, which include mint, lavender and roses.

Impression copyright
Reuters

Graphic caption

Amazon states it will only permit domestic gross sales of seeds in the US

Unsolicited seed packages are also getting documented in other nations, together with the British isles. Past month Scottish authorities suggested folks not to tackle the seeds, for fear they could destruction community ecosystems.

In an update on 11 August, the US Section of Agriculture (USDA) claimed industry experts analysing the seeds identified number of complications with them, and that China was aiding with investigations.

But the USDA has warned folks against planting the seeds, expressing they could be non-indigenous species or have pests and illnesses.

So-called “brushing” cons contain sellers sending out reduced benefit objects this kind of as seeds or rings. Every single pretend “sale” then generates an on the web evaluate that appears to boost the seller’s legitimacy.

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