Earlier this week, the US department of Agriculture started receiving reports of people receiving unmarked packages of seeds. In almost all cases, they were postmarked from China. Within days, reports had been confirmed in all 50 states.
While the situation is still being investigated, this is believed to be part of a brushing scam. A brushing scam involves people faking online orders by utilizing someone else’s address. Once the order goes out, they’re able to inflate reviews for the product. The idea of receiving a free product might seem nice, but the products utilized in brushing scams are virtually always of low quality.
In the case of seeds, they can even be dangerous.
Seeds are an agricultural commodity that’s regulated for both quality and content by the USDA, as well as State Departments of Agriculture. Because these seeds are unlabeled and of foreign origin, they could potentially cause several serious issues. They may contain invasive species that rapidly spread, killing native plants, gardens, crops, and more. It’s also possible that they’ve been treated with harmful compounds that could be unsafe for humans and animals.
If you have received unmarked seeds, it’s very important that you leave them untouched. Do not attempt to open the package or plant the seeds. Don’t throw them away either. Instead, contact the USDA or your local Department of Agriculture. They will provide instructions on what to do. Most likely, they will eventually collect the seed for testing, and ultimately, proper destruction.
The Importance of Quality, Verified Seed
This situation highlights just how important it is that any seed being planted comes from a reputable distributor and has appropriate tagging. Seed tags are a critical part of seed purchases, particularly in circumstances such as establishing CRP.
CRP seed tags let you know exactly what the seed mix contains, while also verifying that it’s been tested for harmful and invasive species such as Palmer Amaranth. Seed tags are also an important part of the CRP reporting process.
At All Native Seed, every seed purchase comes with the appropriate tags, ensuring the quality of the mix you are receiving. All of our seed has been reprocessed for enhanced purity and tested for pigweed species such as Palmer Amaranth. The end result is higher germination rates and a more successful CRP establishment.