The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has been made aware that private citizens in several states have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.
Please do not plant these seeds. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to place the unopened seed packet in a sealed bag and contact the Plant Industries Division at 501-225-1598 or:
Paul Shell Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Stoll Mark.email@example.com
Scott Bray Scott.firstname.lastname@example.org
Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit http://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov.
Multiple national news outlets are speculating the packages may be part of an international scam called “brushing.” The scammer mails unsolicited packages to people and then posts fake reviews of products online to bolster their online image. This theory has not been confirmed yet and anyone receiving an unsolicited package is asked to report the package immediately.