October 2, 2023

Michigan Warns Public About Unsolicited Seeds From China

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is warning the public about using unsolicited seeds from China. That agency has received reports of consumers receiving the seeds in the mail. Similar cases were reported in 2020. If you got some, do not open the package or plant the seeds.

Michigan Warns Public About Unsolicited Seeds From ChinaThe seeds are packaged in many different types of containing, including letters to parcels in a variety of colors. Most of the recipients say they did not order anything, and the packaging was labeled as containing jewelry. Some people said they ordered seeds from Amazon and got these seeds.

Mike Philip, director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division said in a statement, “If you receive unsolicited seeds from another country, do not open the packaging or plant the seeds. USDA testing of these packages has identified hundreds of varieties of seeds, ranging from noxious weeds, to cannabis, to a wide array of vegetable and flower seeds.”

Philip added, “These unknown seeds could be invasive, introduce disease to local plants, or be harmful to livestock. 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. MDARD appreciates the cooperation of Michiganders who receive these packages as we work together to protect Michigan agriculture.”

The packages could be part of a brushing scam. Brushing is exploitation by ┬ávendors that is used to increase visibility online and as a way to increase product ratings. Positive reviews are submitted by the company using the receiver’s identify.

If you received any of these suspect seeds from China, make sure you don’t open the package. Contact MDARD for more information about how to dispose of the seeds.

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