Authorities Issuing Warning About Mystery Seeds
Canadian agriculture and food inspection authorities are cautioning local gardeners about unsolicited seeds received by post, ordering recipients not to plant anything they did not specifically order. Reports related to packages of which the origins are unknown, sent to several people across the country, are currently being investigated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
The agency has warned against planting the seeds, disposing of the seeds in the trash, or composting them, as all of these could cause the unsolicited seeds to sprout. Those who have received the unidentified seeds are urged to hang on to the parcels in question and report the seeds to any regional office of the CFIA for further investigation.
Seeds Pose Harm To Local Plants
The problem with planting seeds of an unknown nature and origin, said Wendy Asbil, who is the national manager of the CFIA’s Invasive Alien Species department, is that since the origins of the seeds are not known, they (the seeds) could very well carry pests or even sprout and grow into invasive plants that are harmful to local Canadian agriculture. Certain types of invasive plant species could cause serious damage to local plant resources, said Asbil.
The CFIA has to date received several reports from Canadians regarding the receipt of the unauthorised seeds. Most Canadian provinces are now involved, confirmed Asbil. And since the mystery seeds have been received by US residents in all 50 states across America too, the CFIA is currently working in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in an attempt to solve the conundrum.
Meanwhile In The US
A recent statement released by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirms that the department is aware of the seeds and of their mysterious nature, and furthermore, that the packages containing the unauthorised seeds appear to be originating from China.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has in the meantime issued similar warnings to those issued by the CFIA, regarding how the seeds must be dealt with once received. The United States has the most abundant and safest food supply in the world, said Quarles, and it’s of utmost importance that this status remains unchanged.
It isn’t yet certain whether the seeds are part of a hoax, prank, online scam, or outright act of bioterrorism, said Quarles, which is why it is imperative that the seeds do not make it as far as being planted in local soil.
Most of the packages are apparently (falsely) marked as containing jewelry. The packages all contain Chinese writing.