Mystery Seeds from China ‘Could Be Invasive Plant’, Threatens Food Production

Packages of mystery seeds are showing up unsolicited all over the United States. Agriculture officials across the country are warning people to not open them, and for sure don't plant them! (Screen snip, YouTube, CBS News)

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Agriculture experts in several states are warning the public to not open unsolicited packages of plant seeds that are now showing up in mailboxes across the country because they could be an invasive plant species that could not only introduce diseases to local plants but also be harmful to livestock.

That could translate also to being harmful to wildlife, and with hunting seasons on the horizon, outdoorsmen and women should heed the warnings.

Even the Wall Street Journal is covering the story, which suggests this is a serious problem. The WSJ said authorities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia are also investigating.

KDVR News in Denver said the Colorado Department of Agriculture has received “numerous reports from across the state of people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail. The packages appear to have originated from China and other countries, and are labeled as containing jewelry or other items.”

AmmoLand News spoke exclusively with Robin Pruisner, state entomologist and Ag Security Coordinator at the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, who said there appear to be “hundreds of different kinds of seeds.” She acknowledged, “We don’t know at this point in time if they are toxic,” but that determination is definitely a priority.

In a widely circulated email warning, Pruisner cautioned seed recipients, “This is a very real thing – I spent Monday, and weekend, answering phone calls and emails re: unsolicited packages of seed being sent to people across the country, including Iowa. So far, a majority appear to be from China, and we’ve had at least one Uzbekistan. In some cases, people had previously ordered seed online, and in some cases the recipient has never ordered seed.”

She listed several reasons for alarm:

  • The seed is unlabeled and could be an invasive plant that does not currently exist in the US.
  • The seed may contain seed-borne diseases that we don’t have in the USA.
  • Some packets appear to have an unknown seed treatment applied (seed treatments are usually an insecticide and/or fungicide). Because the packets are unlabeled we don’t know what the compounds are, nor how dangerous they could be to human health.
  • Seed is an agricultural commodity that is regulated for quality and content by the USDA as well as State Departments of Agriculture.

Pruisner said this could be a “brushing scam.” As defined at Wikipedia, this is “a deceitful technique sometimes used in e-commerce to boost a seller's ratings by creating fake orders.”

Here’s what nobody should do if they receive one of these seed packages, according to Pruisner:

  • Don’t open the packages.
  • Don’t throw them in the trash, where they could wind up in a landfill and subsequently start to grow. It is no secret wild animals and birds can get into landfills and begin eating whatever green they find.
  • “Don’t eat the seeds,” she warns. “I know, seems intuitive, but you’d be surprised.”

One Texas agriculture official told CBS News to treat these seed packages as if they were radioactive.

She told AmmoLand News, “There are a lot of plant pathogens that can be seed-borne. We don’t know if they contain any of these pathogens. Is it something that can jump to our (commercial) crops? Once a plant pathogen gets out there, that is really difficult to deal with.”

If they have been planted and are already sprouting, she said, “Pull the plants and dispose of them thoroughly. Burn them; get them out of the environment at this time.”

State fish and game agencies have been dealing with several problems affecting deer herds over the past several years. This is hardly the time to be adding to their troubles.

According to Pruisner, the reasons people may be receiving these seed packets could be that they have ordered seed online in the past. It is possible the people sending these seeds have gotten their addresses from mail lists.

Other people may have received other “trinkets” in the past, so their mailing information is also accessible.

CBS News has reportedly confirmed residents in all 50 states have reported receiving “suspicious packages of seeds.” The network said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is “aware” of these unsolicited packages.

Denver’s KDVR noted in its report, “All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet U.S. requirements.”

Pruisner said “a lot of people think this is bio-terrorism,” but quickly added, “I’m not jumping to that.”

However, she stressed the importance of not allowing these seeds to be spread around.

Many if not most of these packages are mismarked, typically as trinkets of some sort.

“When somebody sends something through customs and mislabels it,” she observed, “this is not a legitimate shipment.”



About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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PMinFl
PMinFl
1 month ago

What a nut.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
1 month ago

I think I’ve identified the first picture of seeds from USDA APHIS.
They appear to be a variety Chickpea seeds.

Morrigan
Morrigan
1 month ago

“Don’t plant those magic beans, Jack…something bad will happen”!

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
1 month ago

I’m surprised the Department of Agriculture in several State are unable to identify the seeds. From pictures I’ve seen on various sites, they are easy to identify.
I’ve seen Sunflower, Kidney Bean, Citrus (unknown variety), Cantaloupe (MDA Picture above) and Marigold seeds.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
1 month ago

These packets should have never made it through customs and to the postal system for delivery.
My belief is China is checking our systems in the U.S. for future warfare actions they can get away with and this is a dry run on our border/custom ability to intercept mismarked packages, if you will notice on the white envelope these are marked jewelry.
In the U.S. when you mail something overseas you must fill out a custom form declaring the value and the contents under penalty of perjury.
They gave us covid-19 what’s next?

StLPro2A
StLPro2A
1 month ago
Reply to  uncle dudley

PROBING US DEFENSES PRE_ATTACK……These “seed” packets may be the next COVID-19+ delivery system.

gregs
gregs
1 month ago

got pretty much the same message from our county agricultural extension office master gardener coordinator. this is going on in several states. they recommended to not open the seed packages, do not throw into garbage/landfill, and to contact them for advise on disposal.

mike, giant asian hornets are media clickbait, don’t just listen to the media, do some research. killer bee’s killer instinct is being bred out.

Mike Carbine
Mike Carbine
1 month ago
Reply to  gregs

gregs research says giant asian hornets are well established in France and the UK where they are not native. Governments there have spent million$ and not even slowed the spread. Some Asian hornets were found in WA and BC. This is all confirmed. I suggest you might do a little more yourself.

Mike Carbine
Mike Carbine
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Carbine

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) trapped its first Asian giant hornet this month.
 
https://cms.agr.wa.gov/getmedia/a50086ec-4105-4db3-b57c-2b5bc3339f08/AGHTrappedJuly14BirchBaySideView1?width=400&height=252The hornet was found in a WSDA trap set near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. WSDA trappers checked the bottle trap on July 14 and submitted the contents for processing at WSDA’s entomology lab. The hornet was identified during processing on July 29. This was the first hornet to be detected in a trap, rather than found in the environment as the state’s five previous confirmed sightings were.

https://agr.wa.gov/about-wsda/news-and-media-relations/news-releases?article=31413

Must be click bait eh, gregs?

Matt in Oklahoma
Matt in Oklahoma
1 month ago

Mail them back stickers and goatheads
Two can play that game

Camotim
Camotim
1 month ago

SMASH THE CHICOMS!!!

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
1 month ago

If you receive any seeds don’t open the package. Give it to the cops and make sure you get a receipt for it with the I.D. and badge number of who you surrendered the package to. It could be that it’s nothing but don’t take chances. At this point, anything from China is suspect. Be safe.

Arm up and carry on.

Mike Carbine
Mike Carbine
1 month ago

Giant Asian hornets making beekeeping a nightmare, chestnut blight wiping out one of the most important American forest trees throughout its range. Nature is not something man can beat or stop. African killer bees and cotton bowl weevils, and fire ants all came up from Latin America, zillion$ were spent to stop and now we live with them.
Many agricultural sabotage vectors exist, most are very low cost and nearly impossible to stop in an open society.

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago

Can you get us an article or report on that? It sounds really interesting.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

But you had to bring in a grader and took no photos yourself?

I call BS.

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

Where do you live? America?

PMinFl
PMinFl
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

way off the deep end.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago

These seeds have been incoming for what, at least a couple of weeks now? Even though there are apparently many different varieties of them, why have we not seen any more info than is contained in this article by now? Why has USDA and/or other agencies not begun identifying the different types of seeds and publishing what has been analyzed and identified, along with any good or bad characteristics of the plants they can produce? Ditto analysis for any chemicals applied to them, radiation, or like substances. Being that they appear to be from China, I am distrustful as I… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Grigori
Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
1 month ago

Doesn’t the Department of Agriculture know how to identify seeds? The second photo, those are Cantaloupe seeds. The first picture I have not seen those seeds before. Other pictures show Citrus seeds and Sunflower seeds.