US residents warned not to plant mysterious seeds likely from China

Residents of Utah, Virginia, Arizona, Washington receive unidentified seeds in packages with Chinese writing

Several U.S. residents receive unsolicited seeds in mail over past few weeks. (Twitter, VaAgriculture photo)

Several U.S. residents receive unsolicited seeds in mail over past few weeks. (Twitter, VaAgriculture photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A number of residents in the U.S. states of Utah, Virginia, Arizona, and Washington have reported mysterious seeds being mailed to them in packages printed with Chinese text over the past few weeks.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said on Friday (July 24) that it was aware of several residents receiving peculiar packages containing "seeds that appear to have originated from China." It urged the recipients not to plant the unsolicited seeds as they could be invasive plant species.

The Virginia officials said an investigation has been launched, but they have yet to identify the source of the packages. They said there were Chinese characters printed on the outside of the packages and some of them even had labels indicating there was jewelry inside, reported CNA.

According to Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Virginia is not the only state that has reported mysterious seed packages suspected from China. Lori Culley, a Utah resident, said she was surprised by the odd packet and thought it was a case of mistaken address until she found at least 40 other local residents had received similar packages when she shared her story on social media.

Jane Rupp, president of the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Utah Chapter, suspected that the unidentified packages could simply be a scam known as "brushing" where companies send their products to random individuals in order to post a fake review in their names. However, Culley said it is important for Americans to stay vigilant, especially when concerning China.

Police departments in Arizona and Washington said they have also received reports of strange seed packages from China recently. They advised the recipients to place the seeds inside a sealed bag and contact authorities, according to New Talk.

(Washington State Department of Agriculture photo)