Warning: Do not open, plant or throw away unsolicited seeds from China

Dan Weinbaum
July 28, 2020 - 10:25 am
Michigan Department of Agriculture

Michigan Department of Agriculture

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Kansas City, MO - If you get seeds in the mail from China that you didn't order - do not open it, and don't throw it away. 

Departments of Agriculture in both Kansas and Missouri are warning residents to be wary of getting an unsolicited seed shipment in the mail. 

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People across the U.S. have been reporting receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds from China in the mail. The seeds are usually sent in white packages displaying Chinese lettering and the words “China Post.”


 

Most recipients say they didn't order anything, and that the packaging was labeled as jewelry. Other people have reported ordering seeds on Amazon and receiving these seeds.

Officials are not saying there is anything in the package that could be dangerous to touch or to have in your home, but they say planting them could be harmful. 

Also, throwing them in the trash could be harmful as well, as moisture could reach the seeds in a trash dump and begin to sprout. 
 

The KS Dept.of Agriculture says if you receive a package like this:


If in Missouri:

Contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries Division by phone at (573) 751-2462 or by email at aginfo@mda.mo.gov 
 


 

The packages may be a part of a “brushing” scam. In such a scam, a vendor sends out an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then writes positive reviews about the product on the receiver’s behalf, in an attempt to appear legitimate and bolster ratings. 

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine Smuggling, Interdiction and Trade Compliance Unit is currently investigating this situation across the nation.

 

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