Amazon bans plant seeds from China, other foreign sellers amid investigation

The change went into effect on Sept. 3

Gardening enthusiasts will no longer be able to purchase foreign seeds from Amazon.

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The e-commerce giant confirmed in a Wall Street Journal report that is banning the sale of foreign seeds in the U.S. after consumers received thousands of unsolicited packets of seeds in mailboxes postmarked from China over the summer.

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The change went into effect on Sept. 3 when Amazon told sellers they would not be able to allow the import of seed or plant products, according to an email obtained by the Wall Street Journal. In it, the individual was told Amazon would remove offers from sellers abroad.

Amazon banning the sale of foreign seeds on e-commerce platform. (iStock)

An East Asia-based purveyor of Chinese seeds on Amazon selling to U.S. consumers told WSJ his product was taken off the Amazon site.

A spokesperson for Amazon told the Journal: “Moving forward, we are only permitting the sale of seeds by sellers who are based in the U.S.” explaining that sellers who don’t follow Amazon’s guidelines risk getting their accounts booted from the platform.

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Amazon did not immediately return a FOX Business request for comment. However, its rules page has been updated under "plant and seed products," stating that seeds imported from outside the U.S. are not allowed.

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The USDA has reportedly had nearly 20,000 reports of people receiving the foreign seeds and collected around 9,000 packets, monitoring them for concerns that they could potentially bring in harmful pests or diseases into U.S. agriculture.

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While the USDA says findings “haven’t sparked significant concern,” the agency is still investigating.