Investigation underway after people received unsolicited seeds

Investigation underway after people received unsolicited seeds
The Department of Agriculture is warning people to be aware of seeds which are being posted to people from an unknown sender. Picture: Department of Agriculture/Twitter

An investigation is underway after a number of members of the public received unsolicited small packets of seeds from outside the EU.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said it had been contacted by a number of concerned members of the public on the matter in recent days.

The Department said that while the seeds are yet to be identified, there is a concern there could be the potential introduction of invasive species or harmful diseases that could cause environmental or economic damage.

Under EU legislation, imported plants and plants products, including seeds, from outside of the EU, must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate showing them to be free of important pests and diseases.

A spokesperson for the Department said that so far, the indications are that all the seed packets received in this manner originated in China.

“It appears that this situation is similar to that happening in other countries such as the USA and Canada,” the spokesperson said.

Any person who has received such seeds is asked not to plant them and to contact the Department via email on plantimports@agriculture.gov.ie or (01) 505 8885.

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