Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

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Source: Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner

Residents across the country have been receiving unsolicited and mysterious seeds shipped from China. The seeds are arriving in small mailer envelopes labeled with descriptions such as “stud earrings”, “jewelry”, “handmade flowers”, and “wire connectors”. Since it is illegal to ship seeds unless they meet the import requirements of the United States – including proper labeling with the name of the shipper, the type of seed, and certification where required – the small packets are sent mislabeled in order to pass through Customs undetected.

“There is concern that these seeds may be invasive species or can carry plant diseases,” said Ed Williams, Agricultural Commissioner. “We have already been contacted by a number of residents who have turned in the seeds they received to our office. We want to work with the community to ensure that none of these seeds present a problem for our native plants and agriculture and we thank everyone in advance for their cooperation.”

Any Ventura County residents who may have received packets such as these are asked to hold on to them and contact the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at (805) 388-4222 in Camarillo, or (805) 933-2926 in Santa Paula. Residents should not dispose of the seeds in the trash due to the risk of the seeds sprouting in the landfill. Staff with the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office will arrange for the seeds to either be picked up or will provide drop-off instructions.  

For community members who may have already planted the seeds they received, the Agricultural Commissioner is also asking that they contact the office. Arrangements can be made to remove the seeds that were planted.

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REX OF SB Aug 05, 2020 09:59 AM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

I think the Chinese got the idea from either "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or "The Day of the Triffids." If you plant these seeds, just watch out for suspicious pods in the cellar.

RHS Aug 05, 2020 10:11 AM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

Rex said it. We regularly get new bugs and diseases and invasive plants from out of the area but on planet. For example the olive fruit fly has devastated CA olive production in the last few years after being somehow brought in from east Africa or the Mediterranean. If China wanted to "bug" us this would be a remarkably effective way to mess our community over. I cannot imagine that someone receiving such a packet would not try to grow the seeds.

GeneralTree Aug 05, 2020 10:26 AM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

I read about this a few days ago - it is believed to be a brushing scam - you receive product you didn't order but then get charged for it. 14 of the seed species have been identified already - pretty harmless what they've found thus far. These include mustard, cabbage and morning glory as well as herbs like mint, sage, rosemary and lavender. Hibiscus and roses were also found. Regardless, these could contain bacteria or invasive species so you should follow the guidelines if received.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/seeds-from-china-usda-investigation-identified/

a-1596670213 Aug 05, 2020 04:30 PM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

You don't get charged for the product with a brushing scam. They are using "your" identity (usually just your address, but possibly more than that) to "purchase" & review a product they are selling. But, they don't send you the actual product that "you" reviewed - they send seeds because they are cheap, with the purpose being that they need to show proof of shipping for "your" fake purchase and review.

chico berkeley Aug 05, 2020 10:38 AM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

Those seeds look alot like the seeds put out by a "fern" type plant that we could find online but,with no known name given. This fern came in a bag of miracle Grow potting mix wich we found out later had come from....You guessed it, CHINA.
The fern then invaded and killed the beautiful Cycas palm we had planted in the pot.
At this point we are doing our best to avoid crappy china crap and that in itself is hard to do all the way down to potting soil.

SandyS Aug 05, 2020 11:13 AM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

CHICO we too are doing our best to avoid buying Chinese made crap. It IS hard but it is not impossible! I found many manufacturers of anything from pots and pans to sheets and facemasks that are USA only - although for some you have to research the materials as well as sometimes the "USA Made" is only for the assembly. But we have to start somewhere! The more we buy American the more options we will have. We've gotten so used to cheap Chinese crap and being able to buy it cheap that we fill our houses with it even when some/many contain VOCs. Buy less, spend more up front for lasting quality stuff and you're conscience will also feel better.

SBLIFE Aug 05, 2020 04:34 PM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

Good time to remind folks, FREEZE YOUR CREDIT. Since the Equifax snafu, it is free and incredibly easy to freeze and unfreeze your credit files at all 3 bureaus, all online within minutes. The annoyance of having to temporarily unfreeze for known credit pulls far outweighs the world of hurt you could be in with a compromised identity. If you receive seeds or other strange, cheap items that are likely a brushing scam, YOUR IDENTITY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED.

a-1596673343 Aug 05, 2020 05:22 PM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

Yep, SANDYS, which is why I am reminding everyone that they absolutely should have their credit frozen 24/7. This is the new normal. Anyone without their credit frozen is opening themselves up to massive risk and huge headaches, sooner or later.

RHS Aug 05, 2020 06:28 PM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

Sandys, the credit thieves are not "China" but individual crooks and organizations. Cyber theft comes from all over the world, remember eastern Europe, Africa, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, ad nauseum. Your accusation sounds like a dog whistle from Trump.

REX OF SB Aug 05, 2020 10:51 PM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

If I were to receive these seeds, I think that just out of curiosity I might plant them in a large pot or something that isn't rooted directly to the earth; then when they sprout, I'd ask my yardboy what they were. Maybe they'd be something cool like artichokes. I mean, I'm guessing artichokes come from seeds…don't they? Yeah, I'd really like some of them Chinese artichokes.

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 06, 2020 10:06 PM
Mysterious Seeds from China Show Up in Ventura

First Covid now this!
Ok, so a high security facility where everyone needs to wear a hazmat suit to enter, one that the US Govt invested $3.7m (Obama era) and Gates invested in, a high level personnel accidentally infects himself, then goes out and infects others at a market, Really?

If they are that incompetent, remove all viral facilities like we’re trying to remove nuclear weapons from countries seen as unfit to hold such power.

Or was it all planned because they hate the trade deal?

Whatever you think is the reason, it’s not good and they can’t be trusted.
And if you’re buying made in China Croatia save a buck, and not supporting countries that value the environment, Shame on you and i don’t want to hear your global warming theories. Don’t be a hypocrite.

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