N.C. issues warning about unsolicited seed shipments from China

N.C. issues warning about unsolicited seed shipments from China
Photos of seeds sent to Virginians unsolicited/VDACS (Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina officials are warning residents not to plant seeds they received unsolicited from China or other foreign sources because it could introduce invasive species, insects, or plant diseases.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says it has been contacted by numerous people who have received the seeds, which are likely the product of an international internet scam known as “brushing.”

“According to the Better Business Bureau, foreign, third-party sellers use your address and Amazon information to generate a fake sale and positive review to boost their product ratings,” said Phil Wilson, director of the Plant Industry Division.

In addition to seeds, residents could receive other inexpensive items such as rubber bands, plastic toys, or empty bags.

This type of international shipment of plant material is unlawful and the NCDA&CS asks anyone who has received one of these shipments to save the contents along with all shipping labels and contact the Plant Industry Division at 1-800-206-9333 or email newpest@ncagr.gov.

Plant Industry staff will contact you to gather information and pick up the package.

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