Fla. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried issued a warning very last 7 days: If you get seeds in the mail that you did not order, really don’t open up them – or plant them.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – More than 600 Floridians described seeds showing up in the mail – seeds they did not order or know just about anything about. The U.S. Office of Agriculture phone calls it a “brushing” rip-off.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried very last 7 days raised fears about unsolicited packages of seeds bearing Chinese characters and the name China Publish. The Office of Agriculture and Purchaser Products and services asks Floridians to report the “suspicious seed packages,” which may be labeled as jewellery or something else.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Overall health Inspection Services suggests the packages show up to be portion of a ploy to draw fake consumer assessments and increase on the web gross sales. The federal company is also testing the seeds to evaluate their content material and ascertain if they pose a hazard to agriculture or the atmosphere.

The point out Office of Agriculture and Purchaser Products and services by at minimum 631 Floridians described receiving seeds as of very last Tuesday. The point out company informed men and women not to open up the packages or toss the seeds away. As an alternative, the packages should be set in a sealable plastic bag and described to the state’s Division of Plant Business, Fried’s business office said.

“Plant seeds from mysterious resources may possibly introduce dangerous pathogens, illnesses or invasive species into Florida, putting agriculture and our state’s plant, animal, and human wellness at hazard,” Fried said in a media release.

Equivalent packages have been described in Virginia, Kansas, Washington, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Utah.

Source: Information Services of Florida