Amazon She said it banned overseas sales of seeds in the United States after thousands of Americans received packages of unwanted seeds in their mailboxes, most of them sealed by mail from China.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in July identified more than a dozen varieties of plants ranging from morning glory plants to mustard in unwanted seed bags.
Residents in more than a dozen states recently reported receiving packages of seeds they did not order that appeared to be mailed from China.
The USDA has warned Americans not to plant the seeds.
According to botanists, seeds from other parts of the world can be non-native varieties that are detrimental to commodity crops.
“From now on, we only allow the sale of seeds by US-based sellers,” Amazon said in an emailed statement on Saturday. The company changed its policy on seed sales on Wednesday. The policy change was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The company added that sellers who do not follow its guidelines will be subject to procedures including the possible removal of their accounts.
Per Amazon Policy webpage, the ban extends to plants and plant products.
The USDA said in July that the packages were likely part of a “cleanup” scam, with people receiving unwanted items from a seller who then posting false positive customer reviews to increase sales.
In an August 11 update, Osama Al-Lisi, deputy director of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said that experts analyzed some seeds from China I found very few problems. Al-Lisi added that the two countries are working jointly in the investigation.