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Department of Agriculture identifies mysterious seeds sent to Americans in all 50 states from China

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the type of seeds which were sent unsolicited from China to residents of every state.

Osama El-Lissy, with the plant protection program of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said on Wednesday that the seed packets have contained several plant species.

He said mint, sage, cabbage and roses were found from a sampling of seeds collected from surprised recipients.

The USDA has asked all recipients to report the seed packages.

No one who received a surprise delivery has reported planting the seeds.  

The USDA on Wednesday announced mint, rose, sage and cabbage were among the seeds

The USDA on Wednesday announced mint, rose, sage and cabbage were among the seeds

Officials are advising Americans not to plant the seeds, but instead to report to the authorities

Officials are advising Americans not to plant the seeds, but instead to report to the authorities

The USDA has said that the unsolicited packages of seeds 'appear to be coming from China'

The USDA has said that the unsolicited packages of seeds ‘appear to be coming from China’

The previous day the USDA announced in a press release that the unsolicited packages of seeds ‘appear to be coming from China.’

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, among other agencies, to investigate the seeds and the situation. 

All 50 states have reported getting the packages and even the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has shared that some Canadians have gotten the seeds

All 50 states have reported getting the packages and even the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has shared that some Canadians have gotten the seeds

‘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,’ the department added in the release. 

‘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.’

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry in China, said during a Tuesday briefing that the address labels seen on the packages were forged. 

He also said that the China Post had been in talks with USPS to have the packages sent to China for investigation, CNN reports. 

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry in China, said that the labels were forged

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry in China, said that the labels were forged

In a statement, USPS said that it was aware of the mailings and was in conversation with federal, state and local partners as to next steps. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also reporting that Canadians have been getting similar packages. 

Hundreds of British gardeners reported getting seed deliveries marked as ‘ear studs’ from China and Malaysia. 

Confused Americans were sent small seed packages in the mail, with labels suggesting they were sent from China.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer shared a photo of some unsolicited seeds

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer shared a photo of some unsolicited seeds

Kansas officials posted photos of the packages of seeds sent in their state

Kansas officials posted photos of the packages of seeds sent in their state

In some of the instances, the packages had Chinese writing printed on the labels and are mislabeled as jewelry. 

Photos shared to Facebook showed that one resident received two packages of seeds that were labeled as a ‘bracelet’ and a ‘ring.’

The address showed the packages were sent from the city of Suzhou in the Jiangsu providence of East China.

It’s unclear why the seed packages were sent and why each individual who got a delivery was chosen.  

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