SPAIN is urging residents to report any unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to have been sent from China.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) said the unidentified seeds may have the potential to introduce diseases to local plants or could be harmful to livestock and warn residents not to plant any ‘mystery seeds.’
The ministry explained that the introduction of this plant material without the corresponding phytosanitary certificate is prohibited and ‘poses a risk both to plant health,’ because of the danger of pests that accompany it, ‘as well as environmental, because it may be an invasive species.’
According to officials, there is evidence that this could be a ‘brushing scam,’ where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.
According to The New York Times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have identified some of the mysterious seeds mailed from China.
The 14 varieties identified include common ones, such as cabbage, hibiscus, lavender, mint, mustard, rose, rosemary and sage.
Regardless, experts warned recipients not to plant them.
Despite alerts about these seeds, a man from Booneville, Arkansas, Doyle Crenshawn, decided to sow them in the ground ‘just to see what would happen.’
According to Crenshawn, as stated in BGR, the seeds ‘just started growing like crazy.’
The plants produced a white, squash-like fruit along with orange flowers.
US authorities have since removed the plants.
Officials in other countries such as Germany, France, Ireland and the Netherlands have informed the European Commission of such shipments.
Deliveries have also been widely reported in Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Portugal and Holland. About 100 households in England have allegedly received the seeds.