After thousands of Americans reportedly received unsolicited packages of seeds in their mailboxes, amazon.com said that it has banned foreign sales of seeds in the US. According to international media reports, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) back in July identified over a dozen plant species ranging from morning glories to mustard in bags of unsolicited seeds. As most of the packages were postmarked from China, the department had warned Americans no to plant the seeds.
Amazon in a reported statement said that moving forward, they will only be permitting the sale of seeds by sellers who are based in the US. The e-commerce company added that the sellers who do not follow its guidelines will be subject to action, including potential removal of their accounts. According to the online shopping website, the ban extends to plants and plant products.
Meanwhile, several plant experts have reportedly said that the seeds from other parts of the globe could be non-native varieties that harm commodity cops. Earlier, the USDA had also said that the packages were most likely part of a ‘brushing scam’, in which people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false-positive customer reviews to boost sales.
In August, Osama El-Lissy, who is a deputy administrator for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), reportedly said that the experts analysing some of the seeds from China found very few problems. El-Lissy said that the two countries were working jointly on the investigation.