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Department warns about unsolicited seeds being sent by post

People are advised not to plant or compost any seeds they did not order.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Agriculture said it has received reports of people being sent “unsolicited seeds” through the post from somebody outside the European Union.  

It has advised people not to plant or compost seeds received in this manner as they “may pose a risk to the environment”. 

“Anyone importing seeds, plants or plant products from outside of the EU needs to be registered with us and consignments require a phytosanitary certificate to prevent the introduction of harmful pests and invasive species into Ireland and the EU,” the department said on Twitter.  

The department advised anyone who received seeds that they did not order to email plantimports@agriculture.gov.ie. 

In the United States, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued a similar warning last week

The service advised people not to plant seeds from “unknown origins” and said it is working with federal and state partners to investigate the unsolicited sending of seeds.

Some of these seeds appeared to have been posted from China and contained a “mix of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb and weed species”, the New York Times reported at the weekend. 

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Further instances of the anonymous seeds have been reported in other countries including those in the UK.

The Guardian reported that about 100 cases of seeds received in this manner have been reported in the UK. 

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