Update: USDA investigates ‘mystery seeds’ arriving from China

National News

Mixed in with her usual onslaught of package deliveries from “Amazon, everything, Office Depot, Instacart for groceries… Everything is shipped to my house,” MaryAnn Brower found two packets of seeds from China that she’s never seen before. They were labeled as jewelry. She says she didn’t order either.

“I would love to know what it is,” said Brower.

So would the USDA and Agriculture Departments in all 50 states. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner told News 3 “treat the entire packet, the packaging and the seed, as if it’s potentially harmful.” According to Black, the seeds could be anything from an invasive species to a part of a “brushing scam,” used to rack up positive reviews for foreign retailers using your name as a verified customer.

He says the there’s a possibility the seeds could be even more sinister.

“Could have some type of disease. On the clandestine side of this, could it be inoculated with something that could be harmful to public health? We don’t know.” Black says it’s best to double bag the seeds and packaging in plastic storage bags, then contact your state Department of Agriculture for instructions on what to do next.

For more information on what to do with the seeds, you can contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s seed lab at 229-386-3145.

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