Farm, Garden and The Land > Gardening and Agriculture

Do not plant mysterious seeds from China

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iam4liberty:
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/hays/really-disconcerting-family-in-driftwood-receives-mystery-seeds-from-china-in-mail/amp/
‘Really disconcerting’: Family in Driftwood receives mystery seeds from China in mail

“Eye-opening.”

That’s how Meghan Roberts and her family would describe the experience of opening a package of seeds they did not order. It was sent to their address in Driftwood, Texas.
...
The family gets seeds in the mail all of the time. Roberts has a garden and they order seeds daily from multiple sources. However, when they received a very small package from China with no information about the seeds inside, it drew a red flag.
...
For them, the most concerning thing is this supplier knows their address. They have ordered seeds online and wonder if their information was stolen.

Currently, they have the seeds sealed in a zip-lock on their porch. Roberts doesn’t want to touch them. She’s more “mad” than anything, considering it “an insult.” Why does she feel that way?

“This might just be a small drop in the bucket, a wake-up call to for us to source, buy, and shop seeds locally. Know where your products come from. Pay attention. People need to be aware,” Roberts said.

And she’s not alone. Sig Hansen sent a ReportIt email to KXAN. In it, he said: “We received a packet about three weeks ago exactly like those shown in recent news photos, so Texas residents also are receiving the seed packets … Did not think much of it back three to four weeks ago and just threw them away.”

In a press release sent Monday, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller urged Texans to take “extreme precaution” when receiving unsolicited seed packets from China. He advised residents not to plant the seeds as they could contain “harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe.”

fritz_monroe:
I'm not going to be planting any mysterious seeds I receive.  However, I think that it's more likely to be a case of someone doing the rated product scam thing that they've been talking about.

From what I've read, the people receiving these are usually not people that regularly order seed.  The packages are often labeled jewelry.  People that are likely not going to plant the seeds.  If this was an attempt to destroy the farming in the U.S. I would think that the chances of getting the plants to grow and spread would be to just distribute the seeds to "agents" within the U.S.  Maybe supply every tourist or businessman that comes to the U.S. a bag of seeds to spread near farmers fields.

As for the concerns that "they have my address," not every site that people order from have the disclaimer that they will not distribute your information.  Even if they do have the disclaimer, all it takes is an employee that feels under paid to be contacted by the people that want the addresses.

iam4liberty:
Salting the the earth: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salting_the_earth

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/environment/2020/07/30/officials-worry-mystery-seeds-china-could-harmful-indiana-crops/5536933002/
Soybeans at risk? Why Indiana agriculture officials worry about mystery seeds from China

There's a reason Indiana agriculture officials don't see the humor in the mysterious seed packets that are showing up in more than 300 Hoosier mailboxes.

Soybeans.

Similar packages sent to residents in Washington state have contained the seeds of amaranth, a noxious weed that poses a threat to one of Indiana's biggest cash crops.


https://www.agprofessional.com/article/tennessee-scientists-confirm-dicamba-resistant-palmer-amaranth
Tennessee Scientists Confirm Dicamba-Resistant Palmer Amaranth
It’s a phone call no weed scientist wants to receive. ‘I’ve sprayed my weeds three and four times and they’re still not dying.’ This time, University of Tennessee’s Larry Steckel took the call as farmers told him their Palmer amaranth was living through multiple dicamba applications.


https://www.kare11.com/article/life/home-garden/grow-with-kare/invasive-palmer-amaranth-found-in-winona-county/89-442c6053-7fb3-491c-98c0-60b20c1f07fd
Have you seen this weed? Invasive Palmer amaranth found in Winona County
The agency said it was contacted by a crop consultant after several suspicious plants were found in a soybean field. MDA staff found 20 Palmer amaranth plants, which were confirmed by genetic testing. After a herbicide application, the MDA stafff ound no new plants, but the field will be monitored for up to three years.

MDA said it's still trying to find the source of the weeds. Palmer amaranth is listed as a "noxious weed" in Minnesota. That means all parts of the plant -- both above and below ground -- must be destroyed. No Palmer amaranth is allowed in any seed sold in Minnesota.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2020/07/28/china-imports-91-more-brazilian-soy-basically-ignores-us/amp/
China Imports 91% More Brazilian Soy; Basically Ignores U.S.
Remember all the soybeans China said it would be buying from the U.S. once the phase one trade deal was inked and tariffs were rolled back? Well, they are buying from the wrong country.

China’s Brazilian soybean imports in June broke a record, based on China’s General Administration of Customs data from this weekend. They bought 10.51 million tons of soybeans in June, an increase of 91% from June of last year. Volume also rose 18.6% from May volumes.

Stwood:
Ok question................

Shouldn't all those packets come through customs??
Or is that old school thoughts that have been done away with............theres been too much junk coming from China to check up on it.

iam4liberty:

--- Quote from: Stwood on July 31, 2020, 07:36:56 AM ---Ok question................

Shouldn't all those packets come through customs??
Or is that old school thoughts that have been done away with............theres been too much junk coming from China to check up on it.

--- End quote ---

They do.  There is a streamlined "e-packet" system between Chinese carriers and USPS which expedites the process.  USPS went back to their Chinese counterpart about this and they said the packages were untraceable with the return addresses being non-existant and even the label layout appears wrong.  In other words, they are suggesting the packages were not sent through their postal service.   They want the packages returned for further investigation.  So, if this is to be believed, how did they get into the USPS system?

It is now looking highly unlikely this was a brushing scam.  So far no-one has been able to connect the shipping numbers to any ecommerce transactions.  That is the whole point of the brushing scam, having a shipment parcel number to verify an order was real to validate the feedback.  Also, current estimate is forty thousand seed packets have been sent, which would have cost about a hundred thousand dollars taking into account packaging, labelling, and labor  Usiually a brushing scam is about ten reviews. This would be an insanely expensive scam.  And forty thousand would make it obvious it wasnt real and draw a lot of attention, something scammers dont want.  Finally, it doesnt make sense that a brushing scammer would use prohibitted items in shipment as that would escalate a mild offense if caught into a major, prison worthy one.  They could easily have used pebbles, kitty litter crystals, or other inert items and it would have been cheaper to do so.

This is probably something else.  Maybe a "probe" to see how disruptive it would be to our ecommerce system on which many Americans rely. Whoever did it spent a hundred grand or so but already cost us millions in having to respond to it.

https://www.newsweek.com/china-asks-us-return-mystery-seeds-shipped-multiple-states-will-conduct-investigation-origins-1521097
China Asks U.S. To Return Mystery Seeds Shipped To Multiple States, Will Conduct Investigation Into Origins

China asked the U.S. on Tuesday to return mystery seeds, that were shipped to several U.S. states, so they can conduct an investigation into the origins.

"Plant seeds are articles prohibited as imports or in transit or admitted conditionally for [Universal Postal Union] member countries," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said during a news briefing on Tuesday. "China Post strictly follows the UPU provisions and prohibits seeds from conveyance by post USPS [United States Postal Service] recently found some packages of seeds with address labels suggesting they were sent from China."

Wang added that following "verification" with the China post, the address labels on the seeds "turned out to be fake ones with erroneous layouts and entries."

"China Post has contacted USPS, asking it to send those fake packages to China for investigation," Wang added.

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