Local authorities began receiving reports from residents on suspicious packages containing seeds they did not order. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, has confirmed that the unsolicited seed shipments from China and other countries are being reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship from around the state. “The Iowa Department of Agriculture is working closely with the USDA to trace, collect and properly dispose of these unknown seeds to protect our agriculture community from plant and seed-borne diseases,” Naig says. The Department is asking anyone who receives a shipment of these seeds to retain the original packaging and report it immediately to 515-281-5321. Recipients should NOT open the seed packet, plant the seeds or attempt to destroy them. These will be collected by state authorities, analyzed and properly destroyed. APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) is working with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and to protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. They say this may be a “brushing scam,” in which people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost online sales.