By Cameron Glenn

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento County has joined the list of places that have been sent mysterious shipments of seeds from China.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) says it recently became aware of a number of reports regarding “mysterious and unsolicited seeds from China and other parts of Asia.”

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Often labeled as jewelry, toys, and more, the packages are being shipped to homeowners throughout the U.S., including some in Sacramento County. The CDFA is communicating with the United States Department of Agriculture to determine what can be done about the shipments.

(crdit: California Department of Food and Agriculture)

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Federal authorities are now investigating the packages and say it’s possibly part of an international retail scam known as “brushing”, where foreign or third party sellers send people products they didn’t order, then use their information to write fake, positive reviews online.

In the meantime, the Department of Agriculture is instructing people to contact the office and not to plant or throw out any of the seeds.

“It is unlawful for any person to ship, deliver, transport, or sell any agricultural or vegetable seed within this state that is not in compliance with the California Seed Law. Our seed law protects the environment and the agricultural industry in California from seed that may be contaminated by pests or diseases. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing the risk of invasive species infestations,” said Chris Flores, Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner.

The CDFA office can be reached at 916-875-6603. They will collect, isolate, and properly store the seed.

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Those who have planted the seeds should contact the department for additional direction.