Americans in at least 22 states received unsolicited packages of seeds for cabbage, hibiscus, lavender, mint, morning glory, mustard, rose, rosemary, sage, and other plants, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA is working with other agencies to investigate the packages but has no evidence they are an act of eco-terrorism or a health threat. The seeds, many of which came from overseas, were likely part of a “brushing scam” to generate fake reviews and boost online sales, the USDA noted.
What should I do if I get a package? Authorities are warning people against opening the packages or planting the seeds. The USDA recommended recipients mail them to their state plant regulatory authorities or state plant health director.
Dig deeper: Read the USDA’s full Q&A on what officials know about the seeds.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2020, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.