WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A man from Arkansas reported that the Chinese seeds he received from the mail were “growing like crazy” after they were planted a couple of weeks ago.
- According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, some of the mysterious seeds were identified as “mustard, cabbage, morning glory, and some herbs, like mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, and then other seeds like hibiscus and roses.”
- Planning to conduct an investigation about the unsolicited shipment, China has requested the US to return back the packaged seeds.
The mystery seeds that believed to have come from China were “growing like crazy,” according to a man from Arkansas who planted them. The local Department of Agriculture will remove the plant and have it evaluated.
“We brought them down here and planted the seeds just to see what would happen, every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it and they just started growing like crazy,” Doyle Crenshaw from Booneville told 5 News.
According to The New York Times, Crenshaw shared that he purchased blue zinnia seeds from Amazon but received the unknown seeds sealed in a package and labeled as containing studded earrings.
“It’s a really pretty plant. It looks like a giant squash plant,” he said.
Mysterious shipments of packed seeds with unmarked origins from China arrived in Canada and the US. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Monday that it already identified some of the seeds that residents have gotten.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Member Osama El-Lissy said that they 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.”
In a statement, the USDA said that the seeds were sent out as part of a “brushing scam” to boost sales. The mass seed shipment was believed to be sent by sellers who will then post fake satisfactory customer feedback in order to grow the business.
The department is urging all residents who received the seeds package to have them turned over to a State or Federal agriculture office and not to use them.
On the other hand, China has asked to recall the mystery seeds that were shipped to the US for their internal investigation. During a news briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: “Plant seeds are articles prohibited as imports or in transit or admitted conditionally for UPU [Universal Postal Union] member countries.”
“China Post strictly follows the UPU provisions and prohibits seeds from conveyance by post. USPS [United States Postal Service] recently found some packages of seeds with address labels suggesting they were sent from China,” he continued.
Since July, various states in the US have confirmed to have received unsolicited seeds from China.