(RTTNews) – Amazon has banned sales of foreign seeds in the U.S. after thousands of people received unsolicited packets of seeds in the mail, most from China, according to reports.
The packages of seeds are believed to be part of a “brushing” scam.
A “brushing” scam is when a seller sends items to people that they didn’t order then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.
As per the reports, thousands of U.S. people received the unsolicited seeds in the summer. The packages were postmarked from China, and many of the shipments were marked as jewelry or toys.
Amazon will now only allow the sale of seeds by sellers based in the U.S., the reports said.
Amazon’s new guidelines, which took effect from 3 September, also reportedly prohibit the sale of seeds within America by non-US residents. It added that sellers may be banned if they do not follow the new guidelines.
The online retail giant’s ban also applied to plants and plant products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in July that it had identified more than a dozen plant species among the mystery packages, including mint, lavender and roses.
In mid-August, the US Department of Agriculture said experts analyzing the seeds found few problems with them, and that China was assisting with investigations.
The US authorities have warned people not to plant seeds of unknown origin, saying they could be non-native species or carry pests and diseases.
A Global Asset Management Seoul Korea Magazine