(ORDO NEWS) — Dozens of US states are reporting mysterious seeds in packages from China, asking citizens not to plant them because they may be invasive species.
On Tuesday, the USDA said it would examine unreceived seed packages reported by at least 27 states and urged anyone who receives them to contact local authorities.
“Please save the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State Department of Agriculture contacts you for further instructions,” the USDA Animal and Plant Health Service said in a press release. “Do not plant seeds of unknown origin.”
The agency also said that sending the packages was most likely a “scam,” whereby parcels are sent to consumers and the company then fakes positive product reviews.
But planted unknown seeds can quickly become an ecological disaster.
“Invasive plant species could wipe out Texas agriculture,” Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, said in a press release.
“The reason people are concerned — especially if the seed is the seed of a similar crop grown for income and food or animal feed — there may be plant pathogens or insects that are dangerous.” – Caroli Bull, professor of plant pathology and Plant Microbiology of Pennsylvania, told The New York Times .
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