Packets allegedly originating from China are sprouting up in mailboxes around Texas.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told FOX 4 of Dallas that these mystery seeds – which also appeared in several states have now been spotted in the Lone Star state. Texas is among about 30 states to issue a warning about the mailings.
The packages all contain markings from China’s state-run postal agency on the outside.
“We don’t want people opening those up, don’t put them in the mail, certainly don’t plant them. Contact us. Let us pick them up. Treat them like they are radioactive like they are Kryptonite,” Miller told Fox 4.
Police and healthcare officials around the US are “concerned the seeds could be an invasive species to possibly tied to a fake product-review scam.”
According to the New York Post, Jane Rupp, president of the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB’s) Utah chapter, said the incidents could be a scam known as “brushing.” Brushing involves companies sending free products so they can post a fake review in that person’s name.
Mystery seeds from China are landing in Americans' mail boxes https://t.co/7Qxyt8uzDz
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 28, 2020
I have received two of these packets of mystery seeds so far this year. Knowing that I did not order them, and not having any idea what they were, I discarded them. Now, people all across the country are receiving these "free" seeds from China. https://t.co/92fQFUikdb
— GrumpyGoose (@FelicitousBS) July 25, 2020
ANYBODY ELSE GET SOME OF THE MYSTERY CHINA SEEDS?? pic.twitter.com/akQ9ehFd6N
— WE DO NOT CONSENT! We are the MANY! (@JulieMHolcomb) July 28, 2020
The United Kingdom, Utah and now Virginia residents have all received mysterious seed packets in the mail that they didn't buy and that are labeled with Chinese writing. @VaAgriculture says not to plant them. https://t.co/HXqRsH3upJ
— Sarah Vogelsong (@SarahVogelsong) July 24, 2020
If you receive a unrequested packet of mystery seeds, do NOT plant them. They aren’t magic beans. Please contact your local Ag Commissioner’s office. 559-600-7510
Planting unknown seeds could lead to the introduction of invasive plant species or harmful plant diseases. pic.twitter.com/R5v4RHE8y7
— Fresno AgCommissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures (@Fresno_AgDept) July 28, 2020
Mark Rubial, a nursery owner in Dallas, warned about the seeds: “If someone sends you pills in the mail wouldn’t necessarily take them. It’s kind of the same thing. It doesn’t seem like if you had three or four seeds it’s a big deal. But if you put those seeds out, they drop more seeds and we could actually get damage to our local plants.”
[via Fox 4 Dallas]