State Dept. of Agriculture warns about unsolicited mail from China containing seeds

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is warning residents about some mysterious seeds that have been showing up in people’s mailboxes.

The seeds appear to have originated from China, and the mail packaging may have Chinese writing on them. Some packages claim to contain jewelry but inside are seeds, which looked like squash and cucumber and even peanuts.

So far, officials said the seeds do not appear to be a threat but do need to be reported because they are a regulated item.

“Right now, they are telling us that the seeds do not represent a hazard to people pets or livestock, but they do need to follow up because seeds are a highly regulated item,” said Dr. Victoria Smith, Deputy State Entomologist.

The seeds are regulated because they could lead to invasive plants or pests, which could be carried in the package.

Officials believe the packages could be part of a brushing scheme.

“Basically, a vendor sends out all of these small low-cost items in hopes of getting lots of good reviews on Amazon, or Wish, or Yelp or whatever, but again this is just kind of mysterious,” Smith said.

If you get these unsolicited seeds in the mail, do not plant them. Instead, immediately contact state plant regulatory officials, Dr. Kirby Stafford at (203) 974-8485 (Kirby.Stafford@ct.gov) or Dr. Smith at (203) 974-8474  (Victoria.Smith@ct.gov ).

Hold on to the seeds, the packaging and the mailing label until someone contacts you with further instructions.

This isn’t just happening in Connecticut; seed packages have been showing up in people’s mailboxes across the United States over the last several days, including states Georgia and Utah.

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