Here's What to Do if You Receive a Mysterious Package of Seeds From China

Melissa Matthews
Photo credit: StephanieFrey - Getty Images
Photo credit: StephanieFrey - Getty Images

From Men's Health

Receiving a surprise package in the mail can feel akin to getting a birthday present. But you shouldn't get too excited if you receive unexpected packages from China— they could contain mysterious seeds, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

People across the country are receiving mysterious packages from China that contain unknown seeds. Some of the mail misleadingly says the envelopes contain jewelry while others don't identify the package contents. The seeds vary in size, color, and shape.

On Twitter, people have shared photos of their packages.

"This is what’s being delivered by USPO [sic] to some people in my area. It says it’s jewelry and is from China. But that’s a lie! It’s a bag of unknown seeds. If you receive one or know some who does, do not open the seeds! Take it all to your local police department or post office," wrote one user.

Currently, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with the Department of Homeland Security and local departments of agriculture to investigate the seeds.

So what should you do if you receive unsolicited seeds?

First, you should never plant seeds from unknown origins, warns the USDA. They could be seeds of an invasive species that may wreak havoc on the environment, destroy native plants, or severely damage crops, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The New York State Department of Agriculture recommends storing them away from children and pets.

Keep the seeds, packaging, and mailing label in a safe place. Then, contact your State plant regulatory official for further instructions. The USDA is collecting seed packages to test and determine whether they could be dangerous. For now, the regulatory agency believes this is just a brushing scam used to post false customer reviews from unsolicited recipients.

You Might Also Like

More From