What to do if you are sent seeds you did not order

Chinese seed packaging

In recent days the press has reported that members of the public in the UK have been receiving unsolicited parcels from China that contain seeds.

The UK Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has said that if you have received seeds by post that you didn’t order you should email the details to cGxhbnRoZWFsdGguaW5mb0BhcGhhLmdvdi51aw==. Do not plant or compost the seeds as it is possible they could be carrying plant pests or diseases that are a risk to UK crops or the environment.

APHA is conducting tests on seed samples and is also investigating the possibility of this being a “brushing scam” – where people receive low value unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. The issue here is that items enter the country under the guise of being something else, and as a result, any seeds are not declared as seeds and do not go through the relevant plant health and customs checks that would normally apply to imported plant material.

APHA has also reminded people to always source any plants and seeds responsibly from known suppliers. Further information can also be found via this video from Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence.

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