The federal government thinks it knows what’s in those unsolicited seeds packets from China.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says after analyzing the seeds, it’s identified 14 difference species including mustard, cabbage, morning glory, some herbs, and then other seeds like hibiscus and roses. So why would someone mail harmless seeds to people who didn’t order them? The agency believes they are part of a “brushing scam,” where a seller orders items using a fake email address and has the packages shipped to random people. Once the package is delivered, the person who placed the order is considered a verified buyer and can leave positive reviews online. People are still being warned not to plant them but instead mail them to the USDA for testing.