DEFRA has issued a warning to UK residents who have received unsolicited packages of seeds.

DEFRA said it is currently investigating packages of seeds marked as ‘ear studs’ sent unsolicited to residents of the UK, and is urging recipients not plant or compost the seeds as it is possible they could be carrying plant pests or diseases that are a risk to UK crops or the environment.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is conducting tests on seed samples and over 100 cases have already been reported by members of the public, DEFRA said.

Nicola Spence, UK chief plant officer, commented: "We've received some reports recently of unsolicited seeds being received by post despite no order of those seeds being made in person, online or over the phone.

"If you do receive seeds unexpectedly, please don't plant or compost them. These seeds could pose a biosecurity risk to the UK. Seed from an unknown source could potentially carry a plant disease or grow into an invaisive plant which could damage our own native plants and our wider environment."

If you have received seeds by post that you did not order, email details to

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