Unsolicited seeds from China partially identified

National

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The federal Department of Agriculture has identified some of the species of the mysterious seeds many Americans are receiving in the mail from China.

Fourteen of the species are herbs and other plants like hibiscus and mint.

Since late July, many in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have reported getting packets of seeds that they did not order.

All 50 states have now issued warnings against planting the seeds, and many have been told to contact state or local authorities.

The seeds may be part of a “brushing scam,” where venders pay people to place orders for products and ship them to strangers. This is intended to help boost sales or how high their website ranks in search engine results.

Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture called the seeds agricultural smuggling. The agency says the seeds which have not been identified could be invasive species, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock.

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