Agricultural officials warn of Chinese mystery seeds showing up in Marin County

Mysterious shipments of unsolicited seed packets from China to locations all over the United States have started to hit Marin County, according to the county agricultural department.

What's in the seeds and why they are being shipped to people's homes is anyone's guess. 

But the Marin County Department of Agriculture received word this week from state and federal agencies that the seeds could be harmful to other plants and livestock. So, they're telling people not to open the packages if they never ordered the seeds and to contact the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at 415-473-6700.

In the meantime, officials said that the seed packets should not be opened, shipped, or disposed of to prevent the potential release of any invasive pest. If they've been planted in pots, people should call the commissioner's office and wait for further instructions. If the seeds have been planted in the ground, people should call the commissioner's office and carefully mark off the area and avoid irrigating or cultivating it. 

Marin’s Agricultural Commissioner Stacy K. Carlsen reported recently that a Marin resident voluntarily surrendered one of the seed packets to staff in his Novato office. Two other local residents have reported receiving similar shipments.