Author Topic: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China  (Read 2434 times)

Online iam4liberty

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Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« on: July 28, 2020, 06:56:26 AM »
As if releasing COVID-19 wasn't bad enough, apparently the Chinese government is now spreading invasive plants from its agriculture labs to "wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops" in the United States.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/07/27/us/unsolicited-seed-packages-china-trnd/index.html
States are warning people about suspicious packages of seeds that appear to be from China

If you've received a mysterious package of seeds in the mail lately, don't plant them.

Several states are issuing warnings after residents across the nation have reported receiving unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in China. The packages typically have Chinese characters on the label and contain a sealed packet of unknown seeds that some state agriculture departments say could be invasive plant species.

"Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops," the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a news release on July 24.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 07:53:44 AM »
Also, do not throw them in trash.  That is essentially planting them.  Instead, send to propper authorities.

https://www.hoosieragtoday.com/mystery-seeds-from-china-showing-up-on-indiana-doorsteps/
Mystery Seeds From China Showing Up on Indiana Doorsteps

Don Robison, seed administrator for the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, says if you receive these seeds by mail, do not plant them or throw them away.

“We want to know what the seed is. We want to make sure that nobody plants the seed. It could come diseased, it could be something that is invasive. So, don’t plant it. Don’t just throw it away, which would be the same as planting it, because it would go to a landfill and moisture in the landfill would get it to grow.”

Robison is asking that the seeds be sent to the Indiana State Seed Lab where they will identify the seeds at no cost to the person sending them in.
...
Again, if you receive the mystery seed, do not plant it or throw it away and do not open the package. The seeds can be sent by mail to the Indiana State Seed Laboratory at the address below.

Indiana State Seed Laboratory
Purdue University
175 S University St
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 08:03:15 AM »

Great.......
Wonder how wide spread this is.

Online Bradbn4

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 08:57:00 AM »
Wide spread?

I just received a work e-mail indicating don't touch - call these Colorado numbers - save the wrapping material, etc.


Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 09:15:16 AM »
There's been a lot of coverage and official announcements about this, but you get a fuller picture if you read some of the comments.  Lots of people have been getting all sorts of cheap junk from China.  Seeds are usually labeled as jewelry.  One guy got a toy camera, another got a pair of fish (plastic, I think).

This is most likely part of a "get good reviews" scam.  Here's an article from the Better Business Bureau (dated 7/2/20, before the OMGSeeds! panic started):

BBB Tip: Amazon “brushing” scam indicates a serious problem for victims

The seed photos I've seen look like common food items.  They were probably chosen because they would feel like jewelry inside a padded envelope, and so they'd match the customs declaration and other paperwork.

The panic over Chinese invasive seeds is, in my opinion, just something the news media came up with because it's better clickbait than "brushing scam" and takes advantage of the current attitudes towards China.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 11:30:08 AM »




The panic over Chinese invasive seeds is, in my opinion, just something the news media came up with because it's better clickbait than "brushing scam" and takes advantage of the current attitudes towards China.

Just something else to piss China off a little more.....

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 11:45:41 AM »
Dont do it.  Dont plant 'em!


Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 11:57:23 AM »

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2020, 12:10:45 PM »


Oh no!  They apparently got Mr Bill!


Offline Redman

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2020, 05:41:50 PM »
Saw this on ABC national news tonight. First I heard about it except here.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 05:30:26 AM »
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.”

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 07:34:10 AM »
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.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 10:03:40 PM »
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.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #13 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.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2020, 08:11:45 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.

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.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 08:30:08 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2020, 09:06:05 AM »
Well, gosh! Once the Chinese officials investigate, I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of it!

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 01:59:37 PM »

Sheesh. Yea, looking like just another clusterfart.
Once they do get it figured out, can we trust that decision?  ::)

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 02:59:36 PM »
Well, if the numbers are not usable in the Chinese postal system, that would be pretty good evidence it didnt come from China.  It could be a third party, either government or private, trying to further inflame US/China relations. The unabomber was able to ship bombs for years before he was caught.  So packages with seeds would be really easy to spoof.

Now imagine a third party similarly mailing millions of spoof election ballots if mailed in ballots are allowed.  It would collapse the election system and no one would trust the results. ,Lots of scary scenarios.

The brushing scam narrative is probably just an attempt to get people not to think about the security of the mail system.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 03:07:03 PM by iam4liberty »

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 03:37:00 PM »
People have been planting them.

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/trending/gardeners-claim-they-planted-mysterious-seeds-china/DLI43O76TBHH7BME6WBKDMMSLQ/
Gardeners claim they planted mysterious seeds from China

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2020, 04:47:56 PM »
 ::) ::)

Offline Redman

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2020, 06:18:10 PM »
People have been planting them.

People in general are stupid. Planting unsolicited seeds, sheesh. For more evidence of stupid see the Corona Virus.

Online David in MN

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2020, 08:45:17 AM »
It's happening in MN enough that the Department of Agriculture put out a pres release.

https://www.mda.state.mn.us/minnesotans-report-receiving-mystery-seeds-appearing-come-china

Bear in mind getting seeds in the mail is nothing new. Besides stuff I order I routinely get seeds sent from the power company (Xcel) and several retailers use seeds as marketing.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2020, 07:09:30 AM »
Most media seems to have pulled this story as soon as it was confirmed seeds did come from China and that some packages were harmful.  Word is about 25% were harmful weeds and 75% were flowers like roses and hibiscus.  Speculation is that earliest packages were the flowers and may have been an attempt to create positive media for the seeds to get more recipients to plant them.  Then the harmful seeds followed.  But we truly don't know motive.  The whole review scam angle seems false as no corresponding reviews have yet been found despite seeds being sent in waves for months.  WSJ reports that government officials have identified company names of senders but no details.  Very strange.

https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/u-s-chinese-officials-jointly-pursue-mystery-seed-shipments-11597271565

U.S., Chinese Officials Jointly Pursue Mystery Seed Shipments
Agricultural agencies in both countries collaborate to identify senders as U.S. lawmakers call for stronger safeguards


The USDA identified seeds of some potentially harmful weeds and a common beetle larva among the fraction of shipments it has checked
...
U.S. agriculture officials said they are working with their counterparts in China to determine who is sending mysterious seed packages to U.S. residents and to stop future shipments.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a recorded radio broadcast released Wednesday that China is helping to identify the senders of the seeds, and that the agency knows the names of companies behind the shipments.
...
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

“We don’t know the background information about these companies, and that’s why we’re working with our counterparts in China to follow up on some of these senders,”


Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2020, 08:36:10 AM »
We don't need any more beetles over here........... >:(

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2020, 08:17:56 PM »
Japan is now warning citizens not to handle seeds as they could be means of spreading viruses.

http://www.ntv.co.jp/englishnews/society/mysterious_seeds_delivered_across_japan_1/
MYSTERIOUS SEEDS DELIVERED ACROSS JAPAN

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2020, 08:25:48 PM »


Great..........

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2020, 10:50:47 PM »
https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/5734283002
Amazon bans foreign seeds, plants sales as investigation over mysterious packages continues

Offline Stwood

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2020, 07:31:32 AM »

Good deal on banning the sales.

I feel left out though.... :'(

 ;D ;D

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Do not plant mysterious seeds from China
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2020, 05:01:48 PM »
Makes you go hmmm....


MYSTERIOUS RETURN OF INVASIVE PLANT FOUND IN STEARNS COUNTY

The rough potato vine is native to eastern Asia and the reason for its existence here in Stearns County is a mystery.

Stearns County Agricultural Inspector Bob Dunning has begun mapping the locations of the infestation and is warning locals where the plant is growing. Dunning said he was surprised by the number of locations he found it in once he began scouting for it. Dunning also said he’s grateful to Sherry Kutter for discovering this issue before it had become even more widespread. Rough Potato is a very aggressive climber and it has an amazing ability to completely cover other vegetation.