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Cave City woman among hundreds who receives mysterious seeds from China

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:29 PM CDT
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CAVE CITY, Ky. (WBKO) - Kentucky is one of thirty states where people have received mysterious seeds shipped to their homes from China.

“Neither one of us have ordered anything,” said Janie Gossett of Cave City, yet here her and her husband were, wondering what they just mysteriously received.

“He carried it in and he looked at me and said, ‘we have this strange little packet’ here we got in the mail. There appears to be chinese writing on the packet,” explained Gossett. “Mine says jewelry- it does not feel like jewelry.”

Gossett said she allowed her skepticism about the package guide her decision in not opening it.

“At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this was a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism,” said Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner said in a Facebook video.

The USDA says the deliveries are likely a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.

“To be honest with you it’s very frightening to me,” said Gossett. “It seems like it is so widespread, this just seems like it would be a a lot of great expense, time and energy for somebody to put into this.”

The official results of the seeds are not yet determined, so it’s critical that you don’t plant them.

“Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment,” said Quarles.

Nearly eight months into the year and facing another element of uncertainty.

“There’s so many strange things going on in our world right now, you just have a feeling of insecurity and i just find it very disturbing,” said Gossett.

Whatever the puzzling items in the peculiar package, Janie, like hundreds of other Americans, can’t help feel a bit unsettled.

“I hope it’s innocent, but it doesn’t feel innocent to me,” she said.

Officials say do not plant the seeds. If you did receive a package ship them to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s division of Plant Protection Quarantine at USDA-APHIS PPQ, P.O. Box 475, Hebron, Kentucky 41048.

You’re also encouraged to contact KDA at (502) 573-0282 or e-mail ag.web@ky.gov.

Copyright 2020 WBKO. All rights reserved.

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