Continue to Avoid Planting Mystery Seeds You Might Get in the Mail
It's unlikely the end result would be something as terrifying as Twoey, the man-eating plant from the movie "Little Shop of Horrors," but still....
It appears this might be an annual reminder, requested by our friends at the Montana Department of Agriculture.They are reminding growers about the importance of buying and planting seeds from licensed seed dealers to protect against invasive species and plant diseases. Did any of you receive unordered seeds in the mail last year?
In 2020, residents in all 50 states received unsolicited “mystery seeds” through the mail that originated in China causing federal and state agencies to urge recipients not to plant them, and to contact their state regulatory officials to submit them for testing or dispose of them instead. Close to 150 seed packages were received in Montana and sent to USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service for testing. A mix of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb and weed species were discovered and fortunately determined not to be severely hazardous. In this case, the unsolicited seeds appear to have been sent as part of a brushing scam designed to boost e-commerce rankings for companies by shipping items to unknowing individuals and then creating false profiles and fabricated positive reviews.
Whether it's part of a brushing scam or otherwise, planting unknown or unsolicited seeds can introduce harmful pests and/or diseases. The Federal Seed Act and Montana Seed Laws require seed sellers and distributors to plainly label their packages. The MDA Seed Program ensures that seeds offered for sale in Montana are truthfully labeled for identity, purity and viability.
You don't want to hear something huge yelling "feed me, Seymour" from your garden this year. I just couldn't drop the Little Shop of Horrors thing, could I?
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