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Ag officials warn of mystery seed shipments

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 7/28/20, 03:54 pm

Individuals in several states report they have received packages of seeds from foreign countries they did not order. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said many of the shipments appear to have originated in China.

Is this some sort of prank? Phil Wilson of the Plant Industry Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said the shipments could be part of an internet scam known as “brushing,” where “foreign, third-party sellers use your address and Amazon information to generate a fake sale and positive review to boost their product ratings.”

Quarles noted there is not yet enough information to know whether the seeds are part of a hoax or “an act of agricultural bioterrorism,” warning recipients not to plant them: “Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment.” He and officials in several other states have asked recipients of the suspicious shipments to contact their state agriculture department immediately.

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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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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 07/29/2020 01:52 pm

    Eagerly awaiting mine!  ;-)

    Posted: Wed, 07/29/2020 03:48 pm

    Exactly what I thought. Bad stuff from China. 

    They have already given us invasive plants and the killer wasp and who knows what else. 

    Here, plant these free seeds. You know someone out there will plant those seeds. 


  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Wed, 07/29/2020 04:13 pm

    We don't want them growing in our landfills.

    What should we do before throwing them in the trash?

    Crush with a hammer? Soak in bleach?

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Thu, 07/30/2020 11:58 am

    You might know this already, but contact your Department of Agriculture. They have said not to open them, but put them in a plastic bag and they will pick them up.