Arkansas Department of Agriculture Asks for Your Help

According to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, residents of several states have reported that they received packets of seeds in the mail with writing on the outside that appears to be Chinese. While it is not known yet the precise species of the seeds, there is speculation that they could be seeds of an invasive species. If you should receive an unsolicited package of seeds in the mail, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture asks that you do not open the package or plant any unsolicited seeds.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture asks that you place the unopened package in a sealed bag. Please contact the Plant Division at 501-225-1598 or

Paul Shell….. [email protected]

Mark Stoll….. [email protected]

Scott Bray….. [email protected]

Invasive Plant Species

According to the U.S. Forest Service “an invasive plant species is a species that is:

  1. Non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and,
  2. Whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health (Executive Order 13112).”

Many invasive plant species produce large quantities of seed, and some have aggressive root systems that spread long distances. These root systems can grow extremely dense, therefore, smothering the root system of the naturally occurring plants.

Among other problems, invasive plants can result in increased soil erosion, degraded water quality, and poor quality agriculture lands.

invasive-species-seeds

Brushing or Environmental Terrorism?

While there are some reports that this could be “brushing,” there are others who feel that this could be environmental terrorism.

An article describing brushing in Hot Springs Village People dot com says:

“A brushing scheme is a tactic used by foreign retailers where inexpensive and unordered merchandise is sent to unsuspecting individuals. This is done so the seller can use the fake “sale” to write a positive review of their product on Amazon and other marketplace websites.”

According to Wikipedia, environmental terrorism:

“Consists of one or more unlawful actions that harm or destroy environmental resources or deprive others of their use.  More colloquially, the phrase is also used to label actions seen as the unnecessary or unjustified destruction of the environment for personal or corporate gain.”

Thank you to Iva Duncan, co-owner of Raffaella Rose Restaurant at Cortez in Hot Springs Village, for alerting us about this issue. It is always best to be safe and not sorry and contact the Arkansas Department of Agriculture if you receive unsolicited seeds in the mail. (Contact information is above.)

By Cheryl Dowden, July 26, 2020

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