DODGE CITY—According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, small unsolicited packages of seeds, seemingly coming from China, are showing up in mailboxes across the state.
The release said the types of seeds in the packages, which are sometimes labeled as jewelry and may have Chinese writing on them, are unknown at this time.
Heather Lansdowne, KDA’s director of communications, said someone first contacted the department about receiving seeds in the mail on Thursday, July 23.
Within a couple of days, she said, the department knew it wasn’t an isolated incident.
"We have had quite a few Kansans report to us that they have received packages of seeds," Lansdowne said.
In fact, she said, over the past two weeks, the department has received hundreds of emails, phone calls and website reports from Kansans who have received these packages.
Lansdowne said KDA contacted everyone who reported receiving the seeds, providing them with the instructions and asking them to send the seeds to Kansas’ USDA office.
"If that’s not possible, we provided them with an option to dispose of the seeds," she said.
Most importantly, the USDA has said people should not plant the seeds and should limit handling of the seeds if the package is open.
According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website, investigators currently believe the seeds are part of a "brushing scam," in which people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.