HOUSTON – Both the U.S. and Texas departments of Agriculture are advising people not to plant any unsolicited seeds they may have gotten in the mail.
According to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, these seed packets, falsely labeled as jewelry, come from China and have been mailed to people all over the country, including Texas.
People are being advised not to plant the seeds as it could contain a harmful invasive plant that could cause damage to the Texas ecosystem, Miller said.
“I am urging folks to take this matter seriously,” Miller said. “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”
According to the USDA, the packets do not seem to be anything more than a “brushing scam,” where sellers distribute unsolicited products and then post false positive reviews online to boost sales.
The TDA is asking anyone who may have received a packet to report it immediately at SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov.