Amazon bars foreign plant sales to US after mysterious deliveries

Amazon is reportedly barring sales of plants imported from outside the US after people in different parts of the world reported receiving unsolicited seeds packets over the past few months, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Many of the packets with seeds that people have reported bear postmarks from China, said the report on Sunday, adding that the move by Amazon comes after authorities in the US raised alarm about how easily seeds can be sold on e-commerce sites.

In the US, the country’s Postal Service, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Department of Agriculture all probe who are the people behind these mystery deliveries.

Authorities in China have said that postmark labels were not genuine.

What added to the mystery was that many of the seeds packets were labelled as jewellery or toys.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, mislabeling packages in order to get seeds and other plant materials into the country is “agricultural smuggling”.

This bypasses the safeguards that prevent invasive species, plant diseases and pests, or plants that could harm livestock from establishing in the country, USDA warned in an earlier statement after people reported receiving mysterious seeds packages.

Amazon updated its seller rules to reflect the change that it no longer allows foreign sales of plans in the US.

“Plants, plant products, and seeds may not be imported from outside of the United States,” says the new rules.