It looks like Australians eager to get their hands on an imported version of “Prism" — the latest chart-topping confection from American pop princess Katy Perry — and promptly bury the godforsaken thing under a thick layer of dirt in their backyards, will have to wait as the CD (remember those?) has been quarantined by government officials.

Like numerous consumer products (sneakers, pencils, coinage, comic books, funeral invites, etc.), the paper packaging included with the deluxe version of “Prism” is embedded with wildflower seeds — or "seed prisms" — which allows fans, in Perry’s words “to spread the light” by planting it in the earth instead of chucking it in the trash. It’s a cutesy, clever, and not entirely uncommon concept but also one that presents a huge problem Down Under. The seed paper itself has been deemed as a full-on “bio-security concern” by officials given that it could potentially wreak havoc on Australia’s delicate ecosystems, which are extremely sensitive to the introduction of invasive species. Thank goodness that Perry, considered by many to be an invasive species herself in the land of Kylie, didn’t opt to include cane toads with the limited-edition pressing.

While the packaging included with the domestic Australian release of Prism is embedded with harmless, non-invasive Swan River daisy seeds, according to The Independent, Aussie Perry fans ordering international versions of the album via the Internet or smuggling it back from abroad could potentially have it confiscated by border officials “as plant materials from outside the country must be thoroughly assessed before entry.”

An official for the customs department elaborates:

Seeds or plant material of international origin may be a weed not present in Australia or the host of a plant pathogen of bio-security concern. Our bio-security officers at international airports, seaports and mail centres assess the risks associated with various items every day and are well-trained in making informed decisions about whether items could be of bio-security concern.
Yikes — inadvertently threatening the ecosystem of an entire continent? I believe that would be a first for any pop star. However, Vanity Fair's Josh Duboff thinks that Australian officials wouldn't be quite as uptight if they actually knew what Perry's magical seed paper actually grew into once planted: "A giant Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, which blossoms with several of those pink fuzzy pens that Cher has in 'Clueless'" or "a shrubbery, with licorice branches and greenery consisting entirely of whipped cream."

This isn’t the first time that Perry — "The Smurfs" actress and cat-themed perfume pusher recently replaced Canadian invasive species Justin Beiber as the most followed celebrity on Twitter — has run afoul of Mother Nature. Back in September, the one-time PETA poster girl was given a public scolding by the reactionary animal rights organization for using live animals in lieu of CGI stand-ins for the jungle-themed music video of her hit single “Roar.” Perry quickly and effectively fired back at PETA, which for the first time, made me want to forgive her for experiencing the misfortune of having "Fireworks" stuck in my head for four months straight. You go, gurl.

Via [The Independent]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Australian officials outlaw Katy Perry's seed-embedded 'Prism' packaging
Officials in Australia quarantine imported versions of the pop singer Katy Perry's latest album due to its seed-paper packaging.