Daily Mail

Gardeners sent sinister seed packs from China

- By Richard Marsden

UNSOLICITE­D deliveries of garden seeds are being sent from China.

The mysterious packages have been posted to customers who previously made legitimate seed purchases through sites such as Amazon and eBay.

But gardeners were baffled after receiving unexpected items – which were not paid for – marked as ‘ear studs’, potentiall­y to avoid customs checks.

Sue Westerdale, 63, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, received a bag of ‘ear studs’ from China, containing large black seeds. She said: ‘You don’t know what you are planting or how dangerous they might be.’

Horticultu­ralists have warned against planting the seeds as it could result in the spread of an invasive, non-native species.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency, part of the Department for Environmen­t has asked for the packages to be forwarded so it can study them.

Professor Ian Rotherham, of Sheffield Hallam University, said they should otherwise be burned or wrapped up and binned. Amazon said it had suspended some sellers.

Ebay said recipients should contact customer services.

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