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GARDENING NEWS 27 December 2014
BEWARE WHEN BUYING SEEDS ONLINE
An article has been published on the Which? website claiming that twenty E-bay and six Amazon sellers had been reported in October (to which agency the article does not explicitly state) regarding suspect seeds being sold in the UK.
The article appears to be rather sensationalist because no seeds have yet been found to be diseased nor are the any indications that they might be. Apparently some seed sellers were offering "black and blue strawberry seeds for sale on Amazon". The seeds were delivered with a Chinese postmark and a "false CN22 Customs declaration".
We took a look at Ebay for unusual strawberry seeds and found several for sale. One rather amusing one was a bright blue strawberry (see here) which looks rather scary! Luckily enough it appears that there are no true blue strawberries sold in the UK so that particular ad can be discounted. However, it does say that the seeds originate Hong Kong and the Ebay ad for black strawberry seeds says the seeds originate from China. Highly dubious!
The prize though definitely has to go to Amazon who have an advert on their site selling very garish multi-coloured strawberries! The picture accompanying the advert shows a bowl of blue, purple, red, green, orange and other coloured strawberries. The advert can be found is no longer available. Truly a case of selling a product which does not exist as shown in the accompanying picture.
Our advice is don't buy seeds from non-specialist sites such as these unless you know specifically who the seller is and you trust them. The likes of Suttons, Unwins, Dobies, Marshalls and other reputable seed merchants have a reputation to protect and are likely to only sell seeds of varieties which exist and can legally be sold in the UK. They may cost slightly more but they are far more reliable.