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News

Mysterious Seed Packets Arriving In Mail Could Be A Scam - Don't Plant Them

If you have received an unsolicited seed packet, hold on to it, report it, but don't plant it.
If you have received an unsolicited seed packet, hold on to it, report it, but don't plant it. Photo Credit: USDA

People who have received mysterious seed packages through the mail are being advised: Do not plant them.

Agriculture departments in 30 states are warning people about unsolicited seed deliveries that appear to be coming from China.

The USDA is aware that people have been receiving these odd seed packets and is working with Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to investigate the situation.

The USDA urges anyone who receives unsolicited seed packets to hold onto them, as well as their labels and packaging, and contact their state plant regulatory office:

Connecticut: (203) 974-8474, victoria.smith@ct.gov.

Massachusetts: (617) 626-1776, taryn.lascola@mass.gov

New York: (518) 457-2087, plants@agriculture.ny.gov

At this time there is no evidence to suggest this is something other than a “brushing scam,” USDA said, which is when people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.

The USDA is collecting the packets and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment. 

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