China seizes 80 tonnes non-native seeds, seedlings in crackdown

China has seized more than 80 tonnes of smuggled seeds and seedlings during an eight-month campaign that began in March, the inspection and quarantine authority said Tuesday.

Inspection and quarantine agencies nationwide have intercepted more than 22,000 batches of seeds and seedlings that were being smuggled into China by people or mail. Over 64 percent of the species would have been invasive, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) at a press meeting held in Shanghai.

"The campaign comes after a recent surge in the smuggling of non-native animals and plants," said Chen Maosheng, a GAQSIQ official.

China is one of the countries hardest hit by invasive species, which have threatened its biodiversity and agricultural production. More than 500 invasive species have taken up residence in the country.