LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State officials are telling Michigan residents not to open or plant any unsolicited packages of seeds they receive from China.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s warning on Monday comes after people across the country are saying they have received packages containing seeds in the mail.
“We don’t know what type of seeds are in the packages, but we do know they come in a variety of sizes and colors, with some reported to be very tiny,” said Mike Philip, director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “These unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock”
The seeds are usually sent in white packages displaying Chinese lettering and the words “China Post.”
Most people who received the seeds say they did not order anything and that the packaging was labeled as jewelry. While others have reported ordering seeds on Amazon and receiving these seeds.
Officials say the seeds might be part of a “brushing” scam, when vendors ship out cheap products and then post phony reviews online using the recipient’s name.
The United States Department of Agriculture is currently investigating this situation across the nation.
“If planted, these unknown and potentially invasive species could have a very negative impact on the environment. Additionally, we’re asking people not to throw the seeds or packages away or dispose of them,” added Philip.
If you receive an unsolicited package of seeds from China, hold on to the seeds, packaging, and mailing label. Contact MDARD during regular business hours at (800) 292 – 3939 or email MDA-Info@michigan.gov.
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