Mysterious seeds sent from China to US identified by Trump administration

Date: 2020.08.17

The mysterious seed packs from China that hundreds of Americans received in the mail have been identified, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Federal officials warned those who received the seeds not to plant them over fears that some may be invasive species and could destroy native plants and insects.

Osama El-Lissy, a member of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said officials had identified more than a dozen plant species included in the seed packets.

“We have identified 14 different species of seeds, including mustard, cabbage, morning glory and some herbs, like mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, and then other seeds like hibiscus and roses,” he said.

Authorities believe the seed packets may be part of an online money-making scam that likely originated in China.

“At this time, 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,” a USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said.

Read more here.

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