USDA identifies seeds from China showing up in the mail
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified seeds reportedly from China that started showing up in mailboxes in Kentucky and across the country.
According to multiple media reports, the USDA identified 14 different variety of seeds in the mail shipments.
The report says the seeds were made up of fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and other common plants.
When the shipments first started showing up in mailboxes, there was concern the seeds could have been part of a bioterrorism plot, but the USDA says it appears the mailings are part of a ‘brushing scam.’
The scheme is where people receive an unsolicited shipment from a seller who then posts fake customer reviews to boost sales.
The USDA says the FBI and Homeland Security are still investigating the shipments.
A Kentucky woman in Logan County unknowingly planted the seeds after receiving a shipment in June. She says she thought the seeds were part of a club she belongs to and didn’t realize until later they were part of the mystery shipments.
She contacted authorities and was told by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to either try to burn the plant that had begun growing or to double bag-in and throw it away.
The USDA is still recommending people who receive the seeds in the mail to contact authorities and do not plant them.