Minnesota Ag Officials Identify Mystery Seeds Sent in Mail
Officials at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture think they've identified those mystery seeds that have been randomly showing up in the mail across the North Star State.
Did you get any of those mystery seeds reportedly from China in the mail earlier this summer? I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get any over at palatial St. John manor in northwest Rochester. But, many Minnesota houses did-- as did homes in other states like Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
It was a curious phenomenon made even more mysterious given the current coronavirus pandemic in which we find ourselves this year. Officials at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said if you received them, DON'T plant them! There were fears that they could be seeds for some type of invasive species of plant that could potentially damage our native Minnesota vegetation and landscape.
Well, the good news is that, according to this Fox-9 TV story, those seeds most likely AREN'T harmful. The story noted that on Friday, officials said the MDA laboratory had identified some of the seeds as non-invasive species including cosmos, radish, mung bean, juniper, basil, cucurbit, and zinnia.
The story also said they were most likely sent here as part of a 'brushing scam' -- where an online seller sends out unsolicited items and then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. And while they're most likely not invasive, state officials said they could still contain diseases or pests in the packaging.
If you received any mystery seeds, here's what you the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says you should do with them:
- Do not throw away the package or its contents.
- Do not plant the seeds.
- Contact Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, contact information, and the date the package was received.
Officials will coordinate shipping the packaging and contents to the MDA Seed Program. The MDA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program on identification and destruction of the seeds.