Don’t Open Bags of Seeds from China

If you get a mysterious bag of seeds in the mail, don’t plant them. It worked out well for Jack in the fairy tale, but it won’t be so great for you. Instead of discovering a golden egg, you could end up introducing an invasive species to the ecosystem.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has sent out an unprecedented warning asking people who receive mysterious seeds in the mail to leave them unopened. Mike Philip, Director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division warns, “These unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock.”

The seeds are sent from China and are thought to be part of a “brushing” scam where fake product reviews are generated by “verified owners” to give credibility to online retailers.

The United States Department of Agriculture is currently investigating this situation across the nation. Residents who receive the seeds are asked to call MDARD at 800-292-3939 or go to

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland