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USDA and Ag Commissioner address mystery seeds

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A sample of the mystery seeds received. (Photo courtesy MDAC)

Many Mississippians—in fact, people across the nation—have reported receiving suspicious packages from China containing seeds.

“USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture wrote in a statement Tuesday. “USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.”

“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,” the agency continued. “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.”

Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson also addressed the issue Tuesday.

In a Facebook video Gipson asked that people keep the packaging and the seeds intact and contact his office at 662-325-3390. They will send a representative to pick them up.

Gipson said at this time they are not sure of exactly what the seeds are or their exact origin. He encouraged people not to plant them as it could import some form of disease that would impact crops in our state.

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