Reporting and disposing of unsolicited seeds
Since 2020, a number of Canadians have reported receiving packages of seeds by mail that they did not order.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has concluded that the seeds most likely originate from a brushing scam, where a business tries to boost online sales by sending unrequested products to customers and posting fake positive reviews.
Do not plant unrequested seeds.
Certain seeds could become invasive plants or carry plant pests, which can be harmful when introduced into Canada. They can seriously damage forests as well as agricultural and natural areas.
What to do
If you receive seeds that you did not order:
- report the seeds online to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) directly on our website
- provide information from the package, including details on the contents, sender, return address (if any), postmark and how the package is labelled
- put the seeds and packaging in a sealed bag inside a second sealed bag
- place in your regular garbage that goes to a landfill
- refrain from planting, flushing, or composting the seeds to avoid them sprouting and spreading
If you have already planted them or put them in the compost:
- remove the seeds and any plants that may have grown from them
- double-bag the seeds or plants in tightly sealed plastic bags, and place in your regular garbage that goes to a landfill
Learn more about the impact that invasive plants can have:
- in the Chronicle 360 article Tiny seeds you buy online can cause big trouble and
- on the CFIA's plant pests and invasive species page
For questions, please contact your local CFIA office.
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