Government identifies some of the mysterious seeds posted from China

Unsolicited bamboo seeds were sent to one household in Ireland. Photo: Dept of Agriculture

A Government department has identified some of the seeds that are arriving to Irish households in unsolicited packages.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed it has now received 32 reports of unsolicited seed packets from members of the public.

The packages were sent from China and Vanuatu and have contained rape seed, petunia, kiwi and bamboo.

The same trend has been happening in the US and UK in recent weeks, with mustard, cabbage and lavender seeds being delivered to homes there.

According to the department, the seeds could prove to be invasive and contain diseases, affecting agriculture and the island's biodiversity. It confirmed that all the seeds will be destroyed.

If a member of the public receives any seeds in an unsolicited package, the department advises them to:

  • Save the seeds and the package they came in, including the label
  • Keep the seed packets closed and avoid planting the seeds
  • Email to dispose the package at plantimports@agriculture.gov.ie

People are also advised to ensure they only buy seeds from a recognised garden centre or nursery.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Agriculture said that China is helping to identify the senders of the seeds, and that the agency knows the names of companies behind the shipments.

China’s postal service is said to be cooperating with the US investigation.