We May Now Know Why Mysterious Seeds Arriving In The Mail From China; Florida Is Warning Don’t Plant Them

July 28, 2020

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is warning Floridians about unsolicited packages of seeds received through the mail. And we may now know why they are showing up in mailboxes across the country.

As of Tuesday, FDACS has received at least 631 reports from Florida residents, including some in Escambia County, reporting having received suspicious seed packages. The content of the seed packages is unknown at this time.

The USDA said Tuesday that the seeds to be part of a “brushing” scam.
“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. 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,” the USDA said in a statement.

“Plant seeds from unknown sources may introduce dangerous pathogens, diseases, or invasive species into Florida, putting agriculture and our state’s plant, animal, and human health at risk,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Anyone receiving these suspicious seed packets should not open them, should not plant them, should limit contact with them, and should report them immediately to both our department and USDA officials.”

The seed packets, which may arrive unexpectedly in packages bearing Chinese characters, may bear the name China Post, and may be labeled as jewelry, have been reported in multiple states including Alabama, Virginia, Kansas, Washington, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Utah.

Anyone receiving unsolicited seed packages from other countries should follow these directions:

  • Do not open the seed packet and avoid opening outer packaging or mailing materials, if possible
  • Do not plant the seeds or discard them in trash that will be landfilled
  • Limit contact with the seed package until further guidance on handling, disposal, or collection is available from the USDA
  • Report the seed package to the FDACS Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 or DPIhelpline@FDACS.gov
  • Report the seed package to the USDA APHIS Anti-Smuggling Hotline at 1-800-877-3835 or SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov
  • When reporting the seed package to FDACS and USDA/APHIS, please be prepared to provide one’s name, physical address, phone number, and email address for contact purposes.

    The introduction of plant seeds into the United States is tightly regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Seeds of unknown origin may constitute agricultural smuggling, may be invasive, may introduce pathogens, toxins, or plant and animal diseases, may pose a risk of foodborne illness, and may pose a threat to plant, animal, and human health. FDACS is working closely to receive guidance from the USDA and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the lead regulatory body on this issue, in consultation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


    31 Responses to “We May Now Know Why Mysterious Seeds Arriving In The Mail From China; Florida Is Warning Don’t Plant Them”

    1. Rev. Cheryl L. Draeger on August 22nd, 2020 10:02 am

      I received a tiny grey plastic package from china 2 days ago. I order a lot of things from Amazon, and have been waiting for some bulbs. So I opened it and it was some tiny black seeds, like snap dragon seeds, but not marked. There was also some sand or salt in the package, so I closed it back up and reported it . I’m more worried about the sand and what bio hazard it might contain. I will wait a few weeks to hear from the Dept. of Ag. Then burn it.
      I’m wondering what President Trump did to China that has generated this much hate from China.

    2. CATHERINE M AUTHEMENT on August 3rd, 2020 9:21 pm

      I just received this package in Pensacola, FL. 32503 very scary! How do I disposing them? Lordy, I can’t get normal deliveries on time but then this?

    3. JanineC on August 3rd, 2020 6:31 am

      @David Huie Green – WRONG! The President did not call it fake news. He had his people look into it and consulted with the WHO, who first said it was not transmitted between humans, because that was what the Chinese officials told them to say. The WHO didn’t even question the CCP’s story. When a case showed up in the U.S. in January, however, the President immediately declared a public heath emergency and stopped travel from China. Remember, this was also during the impeachment hearings and the Democrats also claimed there was nothing to worry about. They even attacked the President for placing a travel ban on China, calling him a “racist”. When he later placed a travel ban on Europe, they called him crazy and made fun of him. Most of what the media said or presented regarding his handling of this crisis has been lies, spin, and manipulation of perceptions to create disinformation in order to make him look bad. The truth is he accomplished quite a lot despite the media and various Democrats working against him. His administration coordinated efforts along with several private businesses to achieve amazing logistical progress among the various resources to ensure each area had the medical equipment necessary to care for those who got sick. Regrettably, there were departments, like the CDC whose tests were flawed, that slowed down some of the responses. There were also governors and mayors who mishandled several situations, like not immediately implementing Federal guidelines until the virus had already spread significantly, or placing sick patients into nursing homes (where the most vulnerable lived) instead to placing them somewhere safer, like the emergency hospital beds created at Javitz Center or on the hospital ships deployed for such cases.

    4. MS on July 29th, 2020 11:47 pm

      Re: popcorn trees
      A weed like what Steve 7/28 described is in Escondido Ca now that was never here before. It’s also resistant to Roundup. An internet search shows it very similar to marestail. The elongated leaves are somewhat sticky. Some neighbors just weedwack them down not realizing they’re just spreading them. Herbicide “Natria “ with active ingredient ammoniated soap of fatty acids kills off the top green stem and leaves but not the root. This weed sprouts later than most weeds after winter rains and lasts longer after other weeds die off in summer. It can grow up to 4’ in good conditions, 1’ to 2’ in dry weather. California needs to allow other herbicides to be available so we can keep this and other weeds under control. Hope this helps.

    5. Mike on July 29th, 2020 2:18 pm

      @Charlie “Where does someone in China get ahold of a USA address to send them to someone here.”
      Nothing is easier. If you just want the addresses without the names, open Google Maps, zoom in and click on any house you like, you’ll get the address.
      If you want the names and addresses go to voterrecords.com
      Anybody can do and obviously from anywhere in the world where there is internet.

    6. David Huie Green on July 29th, 2020 12:19 pm

      “This disinformation is out there on purpose to make America’s President Trump look bad.”

      Actually, he never did look good. He never sounded good. He never acted like a good person. He has nominated some good people, appointed some good people, but he, himself, is not good. He trusts Vladimir Putin over our intelligence agencies. He drove people out of his way for a photo opportunity. He forbad people to comply with Congress. He betrayed the Kurds to the Turks. He lied to the prime minister of Canada and bragged about it. He lied about Mexico paying for his BEAUTIFUL wall — took money from defense to build a little. He insults or fires anybody who disagrees with him.

      Matthew 7
      16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

      17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

      We’re eating bitter fruit lately.

      David for truth

    7. David Huie Green on July 29th, 2020 11:59 am

      “David Huie Green…you have it all wrong about how Covid made it to the US. I suggest you do your own research & you WILL discover the truth!”

      It seems my research was flawed. Oh if only I used more reliable sources which never lie.

      And the one we who “knows” is keeping it secret.

      (People telling others to do their own research generally haven’t. Who knows? Maybe this one is an exception.)

      David for functional brains

    8. Able on July 29th, 2020 8:32 am

      @JERRY only logical and formidable response.

    9. Do your own research on July 29th, 2020 7:58 am

      @Yup I totally agree with you! Everyone is so eager to believe anything they hear on TV. Do your own research & then you can make educated comments.

      @David Huie Green I am sorry to tell you but you have it all wrong about how Covid made it to the US. I suggest you do your own research & you WILL discover the truth!

      I normally don’t reply to other commentators; however we are in a time where disinformation is being spewed everyday. This disinformation is out there on purpose to make America’s President Trump look bad. This is not going to stop until the election is over! People in high places are willing to do/say anything to regain power!

      We, The People, must start thinking for ourselves and research everything before repeating it.

      This election is more important than any other we’ve ever had!

    10. YEP on July 28th, 2020 10:25 pm

      (Go ahead and blame China if your leader tells you to). Sounds good to me, after all it did come from there and they are trying to be the worlds new superpower. I guess our leader should have known exactly how to handle this new virus, oh wait, maybe not, no other leaders really had a great solution either. Funny when everything was great in the world the president had far less enemies. Now everyone is in line to take there pound of flesh. Guess he goes from president to punching bag. Sad

    11. Roger on July 28th, 2020 10:20 pm

      In all probability these are just ordinary seeds, however, coming from China they most likely are comtaminated with a plant destroying virus or fungus. A single seed could be coated with thousands of viral fragments or fungus spores. Once planted in the ground the virus/fungus will spears every time it rains. We are one the verge of losing the world’s supply of bananas due to a fungus. This may be an attempt to destroy Florida’s citrus industry.

    12. Moe de Lone on July 28th, 2020 9:45 pm

      @ Charlie: Where do they get your address? Somebody out there, somewhere, has the ability to zero in on your key board address and all the attendant information like a heat seeking missile. Or, they may have just drove by your house.

    13. David Huie Green on July 28th, 2020 8:34 pm


      I was cutting some and mentioned to Patsy that making a species go extinct is bad, but unless I knew for a fact it was the VERY last on Earth I would like to kill every one I came across. She wouldn’t save that one either.

      “popcorn trees”

      Our son and his cousin were cutting down a popcorn tree in our front yard when friends from Colorado stopped by. Mr Bradbury didn’t say anything but looked sad because they have a hard time growing trees. Patsy explained it just looked like a tree but was really a big weed. Later we let him know the tree came up where we hauled it. It came up from where we dug up the rots and moved them. A root we missed came back up where it had been. (We should send him seeds…)

      “we can only grow Chinese chestnut trees today.”

      It is rough on the chinquapins too. Actually, European chestnuts would grow but the fungus DOES damage them. I just have dozens of the Chinese chestnuts until they genetically modify the American Chestnut to survive. (A few still live.)

      I am surprised kudzu didn’t make the list.

      David for Chinese food

    14. tg on July 28th, 2020 7:17 pm

      China dosent need weapons they can mail us Anthrax or Fentnal. How does the Postal service allow this?

    15. Charlie on July 28th, 2020 7:11 pm

      Another unanswered question. Where does someone in China get ahold of a USA address to send them to someone here.

    16. Charlie on July 28th, 2020 7:06 pm

      I am surprised that with all of the agriculture experts we have have that nobody can identify these seeds. I have read that you might not want to throw them in the garbage without some way of first destroying them, as if they go to a landfill they could actually germinate & grow there & spread.

    17. Michelle on July 28th, 2020 6:38 pm

      Why would they send seeds to write fake reviews? That makes no sense. They could write fake reviews without sending anybody anything.

    18. SH on July 28th, 2020 5:09 pm

      I don’t get a “brushing scam”. Why send something so you can post a false review? Why not just keep your crap and post a false review? Or would that be somehow more dishonest?

    19. David Huie Green on July 28th, 2020 4:36 pm

      “from the country that gave us COVID”

      A disease hit China. When they determined it was a new disease, they shut down the city and blocked people from entering or leaving. They announced to the world December 31, 2019 that they had a new disease. Their scientists analyzed the RNA which made the virus. Two weeks or so later, they gave that information to the world.

      The disease escaped — was not given.We were warned. Those who paid attention prepared to isolate it. Others ignored it. We are in a country which ignored it — who ignored China’s warning. When reporters asked our president about it, he called it FAKE NEWS and told us to ignore it.

      It showed up officially first in China. It probably came from China. Regardless, it was not a gift, not an act of war or murder. I remember The Spanish Flu of 1918 got that name because the Spanish were the only ones who admitted it was killing them even though the first known cases were in Kansas.

      (A number of folks wonder about the disease we had going around back around late November through January, probably unrelated but no doctor seemed to know or worry about it. I wonder if anyone knows if any samples were sent to CDC and if so, what the results were.)

      But go ahead and blame China if your leader tells you to.

    20. bob c on July 28th, 2020 3:27 pm

      FL Dept of Agriculture how about some Real Guidance on these things.

      They could be Hunan Wet Market Bat Seeds from which the CORONA Virus came.
      Wish we were able to just quit buying anything from China.

    21. Paul on July 28th, 2020 2:42 pm

      China has already poisoned the world with Covid

    22. L king on July 28th, 2020 12:10 pm

      Why does the USPS deliver these seeds ? Why doesnt customs confiscate them ?

    23. Mel on July 28th, 2020 10:19 am

      Return to sender
      I wouldn’t order anything from overseas period.
      I won’t open anything I didn’t order
      Americans are not even getting along what do you think other countries think about us.

    24. Karl on July 28th, 2020 10:17 am

      We don’t know the whole story. My first guess is that they’re not from China but Russians or Koreans or Iranians in China trying to foment further division.
      The greatest way to spread hate is to spread fear. And to be quite frank I also assume that our government has or is already doing the same in China.

    25. steve on July 28th, 2020 10:04 am

      Problem is there is someone so hateful that they are planting them now.
      Like others said those invasive popcorn trees and weeds that I never saw as a kid are now everywhere. That grass that hass the silver puffy tops that cows can not eat is taking over pastures and farm land. Can’t kill it as it has produced billions of seeds and the roots can handle roundup…

    26. CK on July 28th, 2020 9:24 am

      It’s bad enough we already have their popcorn trees and privet, we don’t need any more invasive Asian plants here.

      People should also remember that a fungus from Asia wiped out our native Chestnut trees, which is why we can only grow Chinese chestnut trees today.

    27. Thomas Paine on July 28th, 2020 8:48 am

      Do what now?

    28. Buster on July 28th, 2020 8:35 am

      Free seeds (the first picture looks more like rat droppings) from the country that gave us COVID, what could go wrong?

    29. just sayin on July 28th, 2020 7:41 am

      Lets start shipping them sand spur seeds. That will teach them a good lesson.

    30. Jerry on July 28th, 2020 5:40 am

      Fill them with marijuana seeds and return them to the sender in China.

    31. Not good on July 28th, 2020 2:15 am

      What prevents China from sending poison through the mail? Wait till US citizens start getting sick or die from this highly dangerous activity. This is an obvious, blatant attempt to directly harm the United States in some way. The gall! It can’t be good whatever it is. Thanks again China. (Wonder if they’re sending this noxious trash to other countries all over the world.)

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