View from the Cab: A mystery? Why not?
First it was mystery meat in the school cafeteria back in the day and now there are apparently mystery seeds appearing on the doorsteps of farmers and others in this state.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture issued the following statement last Tuesday regarding the mailing of what it called “unsolicited seeds.”
"We are currently working with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to address reports of unsolicited shipments of seeds from foreign countries. Anyone who receives unordered seeds in the mail should contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture by emailing the following information to agr.seeds@Illinois.gov: First and Last Name, Phone Number and the number of packages received. Do not open the package, plant the seeds, or throw them out. Please keep all seeds unopened and with their original packaging and labels, including mailing labels, until further instruction is provided."
Illinois has been investigating around 100 calls from state residents who claim they have received these packets of mysterious seeds. Ag officials in many states are examining the packet contents to determine if the seeds are invasive species which could harm either livestock or the environment.
Seed sightings were reported in all 50 states and the Plant Health Inspection Service along with USDA issued a statement about an investigation last week which said USDA was aware that people across the country have received the suspicious, unsolicited packages. The situation is under investigation by a number of agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection.
Who knows what to believe anymore but the foreign ministry of China claims the packages have been forged and are not from that country. A Chinese spokesperson said they have talked to officials in the U.S. about returning the packages to China so it can further investigate the situation.
If invasive plants are going to be introduced in the U.S., it may as well happen in 2020. Everything else has just about happened in this unbelievable year from you know where.