Mystery Seeds From China Identified, USDA Warns They Still Should Not Be Planted
Authorities believe it is part of a brushing scheme, where an online retailer sends unsolicited products then posts false reviews as the customer.
Don’t plant the mysterious seeds you’re getting in the mail. That’s what the U.S. Department of Agriculture is warning Americans as they identified some of the plant species in bags of unsolicited seeds arriving in mailboxes across the country.
Even though the seed species identified include mustard, morning glory, lavender and hibiscus, among other things, Osama El-Lissy, a member of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, warned they could be invasive species that could destroy native plants and insect.
Why they showed up peoples’ mail, however, was less of a mystery. Authorities believe the seed packets are part of an online sales scam that likely originated in China.
“We don't have any evidence indicating this is something other than a 'brushing scam' where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales," the USDA said in a statement.
Residents from all 50 states have reported receiving the package, CBS News said. Anyone who has received the seeds should keep them away from pets and children, and report it to the USDA.
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