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Ag officials identify some mystery seeds

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 8/04/20, 05:38 pm

Americans in at least 22 states received unsolicited packages of seeds for cabbage, hibiscus, lavender, mint, morning glory, mustard, rose, rosemary, sage, and other plants, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA is working with other agencies to investigate the packages but has no evidence they are an act of eco-terrorism or a health threat. The seeds, many of which came from overseas, were likely part of a “brushing scam” to generate fake reviews and boost online sales, the USDA noted.

What should I do if I get a package? Authorities are warning people against opening the packages or planting the seeds. The USDA recommended recipients mail them to their state plant regulatory authorities or state plant health director.

Dig deeper: Read the USDA’s full Q&A on what officials know about the seeds.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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  • HANNAH.
    Posted: Thu, 08/06/2020 01:20 am

    Thank you for the link to the USDA's detailed information on what is known -- so far -- about the packages, the scope of the situation, and what we should do in certain scenarios. 

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