SIGACTS:  At least 28 states have received the strange seed packets, NBC News reported. States have issued warnings, advising residents not to plant the seeds in case they are invasive species. The packages have Chinese writing on them and often contain only a packet of unidentified seeds. Sometimes the packages also contain jewelry or another inexpensive item. The packages are sometimes white and say China Post somewhere on the package, but the seeds also sometimes arrive in yellow envelopes.

SITREP: USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

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. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.

The seeds are not all the same plant species and they haven’t all been identified. Here is what some of the seeds look like. This first photo is from the USDA.

Here’s a photo shared by the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Mississippi’s Commissioner Andy Gipson shared this photo.

RECOMMENDATION: As of this time it is unclear if this is a scam or a threat to our agriculture so for now we should follow the recommendations from the USDA. Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins. There are more images from other states in the original article.

SOURCES:
https://heavy.com/news/2020/07/mysterious-china-seeds/