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Don't plant it: Officials warn of unsolicited packages of seeds from Asia

Mysterious seeds sent from China to U.S. mailboxes
Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 26, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Notice anything weird on your doorstep?

People in several states have received unsolicited packages from Asia, inside are mysterious seeds.

“It said earrings on the outside and I didn't think much of it because I had ordered earrings off of Etsy,” said Kristen Barnhart.

West Michigander Kristen Barnhart didn’t think much of a small package she received in May, until she saw what was inside.

“I opened up the package and there were seeds inside,” Barnhart, explained.

Seeds she never ordered.

She checked the package again and saw it was delivered from Malaysia.

“They’ve been sitting on the windowsill because we had bought our plants to, plant in the garden so thankfully we never planted them,” she added.

That’s exactly what officials are telling people to do, similar stories have been reported in Utah and Virginia.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is urging people who received unsolicited packages like this to not plant the seeds as they could be invasive species that could “wreak havoc on the environment.”

“I actually did send an email with pictures to the USDA as well. So we'll see if I hear from them and until then I'm just going to hang on to these and see what comes of it,” Barnhart added.

FOX 17 reached out to the USDA and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources about what you should do if you come across something similar.

For now, hold on to those seeds and make sure they don’t get outside.

Meanwhile the Better Business Bureau believes this could just be a common online scam, where shady companies send products, so they can post a fake review in your name.

But again, don’t plant them.