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In Brief

Is Katy Perry's Album a Biohazard?

katy-perry
Katy Perry's new album, "Prism," may be a biohazard by Australian standards. (Image credit: YouTube screengrab from KatyPerryVEVO)

Pop star Katy Perry — or, more precisely, her latest album — has been declared a potential biohazard by Australian authorities. The deluxe version of the album, named "Prism," contains seed paper that fans are encouraged to plant to grow flowers.

In-store versions of the album sold in Australia contain locally harvested seeds of the native Swan River daisy (Brachyscome). Versions that are ordered online and shipped from overseas, however, may contain non-native seeds or biological contaminants, according to the Australian Department of Agriculture.

"Seeds or plant material of international origin may be a weed not present in Australia, or the host of a plant pathogen of biosecurity concern," a department representative told the Sydney Morning Herald. "The Australian government has a strong system in place to detect and respond to material of biosecurity concern. This includes the inspection of mail, cargo and baggage."

The news of a "biosecurity concern" probably won't put a dent in Perry's record sales: "Prism" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 list at the end of October.

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Marc Lallanilla
Marc Lallanilla has been a science writer and health editor at About.com and a producer with ABCNews.com. His freelance writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and TheWeek.com. Marc has a Master's degree in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.