DETROIT – Mysterious seeds from China have been arriving in mailboxes around the country.
Why are they being delivered and could they be dangerous?
According to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural development, the seeds have shown up in 30 States so far, including Michigan. What makes them most suspicious is the fact that it is too late in the season to be receiving seeds, the packaging and -- most importantly -- they are unsolicited.
Local 4′s Paula Tutman’s brother, Fred Tutman, has received numerous deliveries of the mysterious seeds. Tutman is a gentleman farmer on the family’s Maryland farm. He’s also a professional environmental activist and Patuxent Riverkeeper.
Because of how they were raised and what Tutman does professionally, he knew immediately not to trust the seeds.
State officials urge residents who may have received the seeds to not throw them away -- as they might start sprouting in a landfill -- and to not plant them.
Those little baggies of seeds could be a Pandora’s box of problems and could create creating strongholds of invasive plant species and invasive insect species. A few years ago, phragmites started swallowing up lakes and ponds, turning lake-front housing into marsh jungles. Another invasive species, The Emerald Ash Borer, has decimated ash trees in Michigan.
That’s the kind of danger these seed could possess. Some agriculture officials claim they need to rule out the threat of potential agricultural biological terrorism or warfare with a Trojan Horse baggie filled with innocuous seeming seeds.
At the low end of the threat scale, the seeds could also be just a scam but they are prolific enough to be handled with care, reported and turned in.
Reach out to MDARD if you have received unsolicited seeds in the mail. Click here for contact information.