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Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China

Stilly River Sage 30 Jul 20 - 11:32 AM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 01:06 PM
Jeri 30 Jul 20 - 01:21 PM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 01:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jul 20 - 02:42 PM
Backwoodsman 30 Jul 20 - 02:52 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Jul 20 - 03:10 PM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 03:14 PM
Mrrzy 30 Jul 20 - 05:27 PM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 07:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jul 20 - 07:18 PM
Jack Campin 30 Jul 20 - 07:19 PM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 08:06 PM
Donuel 30 Jul 20 - 08:19 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 30 Jul 20 - 08:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Jul 20 - 12:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jul 20 - 02:40 AM
punkfolkrocker 31 Jul 20 - 02:55 AM
Donuel 31 Jul 20 - 06:46 AM
Penny S. 31 Jul 20 - 07:25 AM
Mrrzy 31 Jul 20 - 07:52 AM
Thompson 31 Jul 20 - 02:03 PM
Donuel 31 Jul 20 - 04:51 PM
Jos 31 Jul 20 - 05:15 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jul 20 - 06:26 PM
Rapparee 31 Jul 20 - 06:41 PM
Thompson 31 Jul 20 - 07:12 PM
punkfolkrocker 31 Jul 20 - 07:34 PM
punkfolkrocker 31 Jul 20 - 07:37 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jul 20 - 07:46 PM
punkfolkrocker 31 Jul 20 - 08:24 PM
leeneia 31 Jul 20 - 08:29 PM
rich-joy 31 Jul 20 - 08:36 PM
Jos 01 Aug 20 - 02:02 AM
SPB-Cooperator 01 Aug 20 - 07:39 AM
Donuel 01 Aug 20 - 08:43 AM
Jos 01 Aug 20 - 09:01 AM
Nigel Parsons 01 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM
Penny S. 01 Aug 20 - 12:31 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 Aug 20 - 12:36 PM
SPB-Cooperator 01 Aug 20 - 03:27 PM
Donuel 01 Aug 20 - 03:41 PM
Penny S. 01 Aug 20 - 04:49 PM
leeneia 02 Aug 20 - 02:30 AM
Jos 02 Aug 20 - 02:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Aug 20 - 05:01 AM
Doug Chadwick 02 Aug 20 - 05:11 AM
The Sandman 02 Aug 20 - 05:21 AM
Jos 02 Aug 20 - 05:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Aug 20 - 11:34 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Aug 20 - 04:45 PM
Senoufou 02 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM
Jeri 02 Aug 20 - 07:24 PM
Jack Campin 03 Aug 20 - 08:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Aug 20 - 11:17 AM
Jack Campin 03 Aug 20 - 11:35 AM
Donuel 03 Aug 20 - 03:03 PM
Donuel 03 Aug 20 - 03:21 PM
Penny S. 05 Aug 20 - 10:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Aug 20 - 11:12 AM
Mrrzy 05 Aug 20 - 02:06 PM
Jeri 05 Aug 20 - 02:31 PM
punkfolkrocker 05 Aug 20 - 02:50 PM
Penny S. 05 Aug 20 - 03:09 PM
Jack Campin 05 Aug 20 - 04:34 PM
Jeri 05 Aug 20 - 07:28 PM
Penny S. 09 Aug 20 - 01:45 PM
Jack Campin 11 Aug 20 - 04:21 PM
punkfolkrocker 11 Aug 20 - 06:49 PM
Nigel Parsons 12 Aug 20 - 06:42 AM
Nigel Parsons 12 Aug 20 - 06:44 AM
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Subject: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 11:32 AM

Someone was eventually going to bring this up, so it might as well be me, a "gardening enthusiast," though so far I haven't received any of these mystery packets.

Americans warned not to plant mysterious seeds appearing in the mail

Agriculture officials raise concern after residents report receiving unsolicited shipments, apparently from China

These started turning up in large number this week, and they appear to be all sorts of types of seeds. They're coming in non-tracked small parcels from China and are often mis-marked as other items (jewelery, in particular).

To make it a political issue, the Commissioner of Agriculture in Texas proclaimed
"I'm getting sick and tired of these surprises coming out of China. First, it was a China virus, then it was murder hornets. Then we had closed down their embassy because of espionage and spying," Miller said. "And now we, you know, we've got all these mysterious seeds."

The phrase "China virus," used by President Donald Trump and defended by politicians including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, has been criticized as racist and anti-Chinese.


Oh, well. Despite that bit of Trump boosterism, I like his statement "These are highly illegal. Don’t plant them. Don’t mess around with them,” Miller said. “Treat them like they’re radioactive or like Kryptonite." These Texans do know how to turn a phrase.

Fortune magazine says
The phenomenon is widespread as concerned citizens from across the country—everywhere from Louisiana to Ohio to Washington State—are reporting the deliveries to authorities.

In response, state agricultural agencies are issuing warnings, and posting pictures of suspicious packages on social media. The state of Tennessee has told anyone who received the seeds "do not plant them."

They also note that "Other unconfirmed reports on Twitter suggest the addresses of seed recipients are not random, but were obtained by hacking databases containing lists of gardening enthusiasts."

Stay safe, if you get them, put the entire parcel into a ziplock bag and seal it. Contact your state or provincial agriculture department and ask them what they want you to do with them. Chances are that someone will pick them up.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 01:06 PM

Better safe than sorry ... but I don't think these seeds are the alien pods that suck face. At this point it could be an American Organization trying to incriminate China.
If the return address is China it is obviously less likely to be a false flag attack by China. Still, as a fear device it is more clever than most.

Whats that...do I smell Russia?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 01:21 PM

Ever hear of Occam's Razor?
Chinese label, Chines return address. I figure it's probably Mexico. ;)


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 01:36 PM

Its not illegal to change return address or use a changed postmark remailing service. Jeri, it sounds like you never set out to defraud anyone before or you would have known this :^/


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 02:42 PM

The shipping costs from China are a fraction of what it would cost to ship all of these small parcels from the US.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 02:52 PM

It has the foul stench of The Trumpist Dirty Tricks Brigade.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 03:10 PM

aka Trumps's Americunts...


[no offence intended towards any other saner and less globally dangerous Americans...]


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 03:14 PM

I estimate a budget about as much as a used SUV would cover the packaging and remailing service. As misinformation and scare schemes go this one is more 'tactile'.

If you really want to know how to kill with seeds just take the black half moon shaped Castor bean seeds and pop them in your mouth.
Don't forget to swallow it whole.

Or you could believe Joe Offer that Donuel is the greatest source of misinformation worse than Trump, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.
Things are getting proposterouser and proposterouser :^/

I wouldn't trust seeds from Andromeda either.
But in these isolated days these diversions are almost as much fun as Jack and the Beanstalk..


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 05:27 PM

I have seen headlines like All 50 states warn about those seeds.

What is so scary about planting them, though? People really fear Chinese triffids or something?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 07:01 PM

Triffids!!! Holy Shit thats different.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 07:18 PM

Because they could be invasive species, they could be genetically altered, they could have been exposed to toxic substances. They could be giant hogweed for all we know (though the photos have looked like domestic seeds for squash, citrus, herbs, etc.) The point is there is no knowing what they will do once planted and what is behind the sending of these.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 07:19 PM

Castor oil beans aren't going to kill you if you swallow them whole. The ricin stays inside right through your gut. They were a common ornamental plant where I grew up in NZ and we had one in the garden that produced hundreds of beans every year. I never heard of anyone getting poisoned by it. I never liked it, smelt nasty.

Something like kudzu, Japanese knotweed or giant hogweed would be the way to spread a bit of havoc.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 08:06 PM

I know I have implied a connection to electioneering fear but seriously there is a history of doing similar scams to cause farmers to make a failed crop from free but sterile seed so that the farm would be foreclosed after the crop failure, then - other parties could buy the farm cheap.
Also Monsanto GM Frankenseed plots have caused much trouble. An anti Chinese faction could also be respondsible.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 08:19 PM

Jack, for safety thats why I didn't say 'grind them up'. But now...

Of course if someone is determined to make a recipe of Chicken and Ricin it wouldn't come from me. :^x


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 08:31 PM

Here's what I think is going on:

A Chinese seed company received a business loan which was less than what they expected. The reason given by the bank was that the company was only doing business domestically. It had no "international presence". So, some genius at the seed company decided to create an "international presence" by creating a bunch of bogus international orders.

They were sufficiently unenlightened to assume that American gardeners would treat free seeds like manna from heaven and keep their mouths shut. They didn't count on Americans being a very suspicious lot.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 12:48 AM

I've seen a couple of memes turn up on a gardening site I use suggesting we send grassburr seeds to China by way of thank you.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 02:40 AM

Has anyone said what they actually are? Not rocket science to find out surely. Likewise, it cannot be too difficult to trace where they came from. Smacks of take news being planted to me. Excuse the pun :-)


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 02:55 AM

DtG - nah.. a botanist with a microscope and a seed identifying text book wold be too logical..

Let the world endangering yank conspiracy theory nutters have their paranoid fun..


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 06:46 AM

Just like in the UK, not all conspiracy theories originate here.
There is Russia who has opted to use the cheapest possible social espionage techniques. France defends against it but I don't see the US shutting down Facebook and twitter (and now remailing services) two weeks before election day.

I hope to see Steve Bannon suffer the rest of his days like Joe McCarthy suffered after his hay day was over. Trump TV should also follow the same path that Glen Beck TV has.

In this social pause the revolution has pursued BLM and better voting rights. We will be left with the same global problem that will take centuries to turn around if we are lucky.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Penny S.
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:25 AM

Russian vine?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:52 AM

Well, it is, I would think, highly likely that some people did, or will, plant them, so we shall see, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Thompson
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 02:03 PM

They're in the UK too.
Meanwhile in Ireland the Chinese are trying to persuade the government to allow them to build an all-Chinese city (now branded as "Hong Kong" but originally as "Chinese") and bring tens of thousands of immigrants in. A perfect bridgehead for invasion of Europe.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 04:51 PM

Thompson To my ear some Irish music has a chinese feel.
Why not rival London with some International HongKong Banking in Ireland? Sounds like a good idea for everyone except racists.

If the US ever had the chance to sell South Carolina to Isreal for relocation it would be great! :~)

China invasive snakehead
fish has one plus. They are delicious


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jos
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 05:15 PM

"To my ear some Irish music has a chinese feel." [Donuel]

Didn't the Chieftains go to China in the eighties and play with Chinese musicians?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 06:26 PM

I have thousands of Chinese seeds in my food cupboard. They're called pine nuts.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Rapparee
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 06:41 PM

These seeds are also in Canada.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Thompson
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:12 PM

Jos, you're welcome to have that Chinese city where you are; feel free to contact the planners, please do.

No, it's not a good idea for everyone except racists. Immigration is a great idea. A system-built ghetto with tens of thousands of one group of incomers, for unknown reasons and backed by unknown powers, is not.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:34 PM

I think I remember a rubbish red commie scare paranoia sci fi movie from the 1960s,
involving an invading army of Chinese soldiers tunneling their way up under the USA,
to suddenly pop out in a devastating surprise attack...


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:37 PM

Beware, these seeds may be fiendishly disguised sneaky red commie Chinese soldiers,
just don't get water on them...

They have the technology...!!! [obviously stolen from the US of A...]


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:46 PM

I've never quite understood why, when Italian recipes call for pine nuts for pesto, and despite that the appropriate trees (stone pines, or umbrella pines, aka Pinus pinea) are abundant all over Italy, all our UK pine nuts seem to come from China (well they do here in Cornwall anyway). Maybe the Italians keep the best for themselves...


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:24 PM

These day's it's just as likely they are cheaply produced OEM in China,
then re-branded for the Italian businesses...???

nah.. the posh foodie market wouldn't be that devious.....


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:29 PM

According to USA Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said the following:

"At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a 'brushing scam' where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales," the statement said. "USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment."
==============
Dontcha hate sentences like that first one, where they say something is not what it's not? They could easily say "This seems to be a brushing scam."


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: rich-joy
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:36 PM

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/pine-nut-trivia-facts_n_4921114
: interesting and lotsa pics!

It's been a good 15 years since I've been able to get Pine Nuts NOT sourced from China, in my local Qld shops, and the price varies quite a bit - but rarely "cheap".
I have an adult Korean-Australian niece who was born allergic to them - tragic!! Apparently if you have a taste disturbance (bitter metallic taste to food) it could be caused by a particular Chinese variety....

Anyway, back to the thread title - I'm not aware of it happening much in Oz just yet, and we are rather "on the nose" with China for one reason or another! It's tempting to think of "Little Shop of Horrors" or of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"!!

Some folks have said the seeds look like "Morning Glory" - now that is something we DO NOT want more of here - it's a damn awful thing in farmland, forest, bushland, or garden - rather like the Kudzu vine takeover in action - I'm fighting it myself at present :((

Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jos
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 02:02 AM

Thompson, your post addressed to me (31 Jul 20 - 07:12 PM) should be addressed to Donuel. My post about the Irish group The Chieftains was a reply to part of a post from Donuel which referred to Irish and Chinese music. Donuel's post also included a reply to your speculation about a Chinese city in Ireland (which I did not mention).


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 07:39 AM

This is taking me into serious rant territory.

if (1) This is a scam to generate fake reviews on Amazon, (2) the seeds were sent to me , and (3) a fake review appeared in my name, then I would be demanding that Amazon 'writes' to everyone who has read the review to inform them that it is a fake review, and if EVERY person who has read the review cannot be identified, then I would expect Amazon to write to every household in the world.

Multiply that by potentially thousands of fake reviews, that could cost Amazon a trillion or so. Costly, yes, but it would be in Amazon's interest to verify every review as genuine before it is published.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 08:43 AM

leenia : Your find is the best theory, connection and explanation yet. SPB, Amazon's legal dept. could probably find way to settle this cheap. This conundrum still is the stuff of cheap horror movie plots.

Jos I was a big fan and went to Chieftan concerts in the 80's


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jos
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 09:01 AM

SPB-Cooperator: Are the seeds sent via Amazon, then?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM

pfr:
Battle Beneath the Earth (1967)


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 12:31 PM

This has been discussed on the BBC R4 current affairs programme PM a few minutes ago, with someone from Planthealth UK telling people what to do with the seeds, coming from China, Taiwan and Singapore. They have seen squash family type seeds and some like sunflower seeds. They will be looking at DNA after identifying them in the usual sort of way.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 12:36 PM

Nigel - yep.. that's the film..

..and we can proudly claim one of the hilariously worst sci fi movies ever released was made in England...


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 03:27 PM

From what I read in the press it is not whether or endorsements
anyway - something to do with the mysteries of their algorithms for recommended sales suppliers


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 03:41 PM

An old British movie 'No Blade of Grass' was about seeds that would render similar species via pollen forever sterile thus making extinct barley, rye, wheat or any other grass and grain.

30 years later Monsanto Inc. found a way to make such seeds a reality so that farmers would have to buy Monsanto seeds every year.
It caused normal crops to make sterile seed. Frankenseeds caused terrible trouble in the US along with farm loss. In India these seeds contributed to many farmer suicides.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 04:49 PM

And darling Boris has apparently viewed Brexit as golden opportunity for British farmers to make fortunes out of GM crops.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 02:30 AM

I don't think amazon reviews give the name of the reviewer.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jos
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 02:37 AM

Wouldn't the seeds need to be offered for sale on Amazon for someone to write a review of them on the Amazon listing? And if they are offered for sale on Amazon, won't the seller be revealed?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 05:01 AM

So, has anyone said what the seeds actually are or who sent them yet?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 05:11 AM

Has anyone here actually received any seeds themselves? Or have they all been sent to friends of friends? Or is it just something that you read somewhere?

DC


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 05:21 AM

Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Dave the Gnome - PM
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 05:01 AM

So, has anyone said what the seeds actually are or who sent them yet?" could they be the seeds of love or an aphrodisiac


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jos
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 05:25 AM

If I don't get any I'll be a bit disappointed, after all this hype - I wouldn't plant them though, not unless they are proved harmless.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 11:34 AM

There are several trains of thought regarding these seeds. Harmful or harmless, there are a lot of them, there are lots of types of seeds, and they're sent from China, often with the parcel saying something else like "Ring" or "gift," etc. The marketing scam theory with ratings is apparently tied to the address that receives it, but it's still vague. Someone will eventually get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, share a photo if you want but be wise and seal it in a ziplock bag and let your local county or state agriculture office know it has arrived.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 04:45 PM

Beware, these seeds may be fiendishly disguised sneaky red commie Chinese soldiers,
just don't get water on them...

They have the technology...!!! [obviously stolen from the US of A...]


Yes, stolen from the USA, but not from the military. The technology was hijacked in an act of industrial espionage perpetrated upon the laboratories of Kilgore Trout Industries Inc.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM

They are arriving quite a bit here in UK. The Mail on Sunday's gardening expert identified some as Datura (also known as Vespertine, or devil's trumpets), which is an attractive tall bush with showy flowers, but it's very poisonous.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 07:24 PM

I know a couple people who received them. One friend talked about them on Facebook before the story hit the news.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 08:20 AM

Many years ago I heard an episode of the Beechgrove Potting Shed radio phone-in gardening programme where a listener was asking about a thorn apple she'd been induced to grow. That's the English for Datura stramonium. The BPS panel had never heard of it and insisted on mishearing the name as "fawn apple". They finally worked out that it was trouble. I already knew about it, though I'd never seen one, from the psychedelic culture. It's an anticholinergic hallucinogen, producing delirium lasting anything up to days with totally realistic hallucinations and some risk of death or permanent brain damage. Used in some cultures as an ordeal poison. Probably what you'd want to spread around if you wanted people to be afraid of imaginary immigrants and believe in Brexit.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 11:17 AM

We have wild native jimson weed/sacred datura that is in the same family (Convolvulaceae/morning glory) as the popular brugmansia/angel trumpet. I sent some seeds to a fellow Mudcatter in the UK and they didn't do well at all in his well-tended garden. Too wet, too cool, too dark. But that was a relatively controlled experiment. For cultural references in the US, think of the late-1960s/early 1970s series of books by Carlos Castaneda ( The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge; A Separate Reality; and Journey to Ixtlan).


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 11:35 AM

Datura stramonium (jimson weed) is a nightshade. Morning glories aren't, and ones that have hallucinogenic effects have a pharmacology resembling LSD, not anticholinergic properties.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 03:03 PM

I love growing the Trumpet flowers that can be almost a foot long.
They smell as sweet as Jean Nate'. Brewed with wine it makes a frightening drink.
The psychic effects of jimson weed are unpredictable and unrecoverable as memory goes.
Do not get seduced by the dark side. These plants require research but not recreational exploration.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 03:21 PM

Stilly I read all 3 Carlos books starting at 18.
The silver umbilical cord came in handy for cliff climbing.

BWL Trout was a creep.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Penny S.
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 10:43 AM

One of the first things I spotted in my new garden (in Kent, nearish to London) was a datura/jimsonweed/thornapple aka whatever else. I spotted its leaves and they triggered some memory or other. I thought at first it was a young giant hogweed with the very indented leaves, but then realised. I looked it up on the Royal Horticultural Society website, and, as a consequence, when i had photographed the flower and the fruit, dug it up with rubber gloves on (the active chemical can be absorbed through the skin) put it in a bin bag, every part, and took it to the local dump where household rubbish goes to be incinerated. With the gloves. Apparently there are some parts which it is safe to compost, but I was taking no chances.
No idea where it came from, but interesting. When I was a child in Folkeston, there was a picture outside the police station (along with one of Colorado Beetle) with warnings about it being around in a local nature area. Where I never saw it, but wanted to.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 11:12 AM

Penny, I long ago realized I couldn't have the jimson weed in the back yard where the dogs are. I'd put some in the compost and some seeds got into the yard and small plants sprouted. I realized there had been one in an area where my old pitbull used to graze on the tall grass and she was really loopy one day after that tiny plant vanished. I found any other sprouts and pulled them, and when the front yard plant has expired I bag it and put it in the trash, not compost. If you've ever seen these things large, the flowers open at dusk and attract sphinx moths and probably bats for pollination. By mid-morning the next day they're finished and drooping. Sacred datura by moonlight is lovely.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 02:06 PM

Is Kilgore Trout who went to Tralfamador?

I have seen pix of the plants grown from these seeds...


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 02:31 PM

Kilgore Trout was Philip José Farmer - at least in regard to having written "Venus on the Half Shell", a seriously weird little book.
Billy Pilgrim went to Tralfamadore, but the two of them met (as far as I can remember - it's been a long time).


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 02:50 PM

..funnily enough, Vonnegut was my favourite author when I was in my late teens in the 1970s..

I can't deny that pfr's dark absurdist sense of humour must owe something
to such an inspirational formative influencer...


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Penny S.
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 03:09 PM

I do have an odd mystery about datura, something I thought I saw in a footnote under a poem by Kipling, but have been unable to find since.

The poem is "La Nuite Blanche" in which he describes someone having a very heavy trip - things climbing up the wall etc.

Poem part

Then a Creature, skinned and crimson,
Ran about the floor and cried,
And they said that I had the "jims" on,
And they dosed me with bromide,
And they locked me in my bedroom --
Me and one wee Blood Red Mouse --
Though I said: "To give my head room
You had best unroof the house."

The footnote suggested that the reference to "jims" on, was to jimsonweed, which I understand had travelled to India.

But I have not found anything to back that up.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 04:34 PM

(the active chemical can be absorbed through the skin)

Folklore pharmacognosy says it's even more effectively absorbed through the mucous membranes of the vulva. Apply to a broomstick and go night flying. Bring the whole coven.

A witch conspiracy directed from China sounds just up the Trump administration's street.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 07:28 PM

Vonnegut, for a time, lived on the street I grew up on. His son was born not too long before I was. My parents saw him, and knew who he was, but never talked with him.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Aug 20 - 01:45 PM

I have, nagging at me, the idea that a song could come out of this.
"The first seed I planted ...." but at the moment nothing further is coming. A succession of plant based disasters involving photosensitivity, hallucinations, creepers growing over the whole house, and the neighbours, giant beans?
But it isn't developing and I don't have a tune.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 04:21 PM

From the Scottish NFU on Facebook:

URGENT UPDATE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED UNSOLICITED PACKETS OF SEED IN THE POST

Significant numbers of Scottish households have been receiving unsolicited packets of seeds in the post from China/Singapore as part of a likely scam.

Following contact with Scottish Government, it urges those receiving seeds to take the following actions.

• If the packet of seeds has not been opened, please leave it sealed.

• DO NOT PLANT OR COMPOST THESE SEEDS.
It is possible that these seeds could be a harmful invasive species or harbour a disease both of which if released could pose a threat to agriculture and the environment.

• Do not handle the seeds
These seeds may have been treated with a chemical pesticide. Please wash your hands if you have handled them without gloves.

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) is collecting these unsolicited packets of seeds for analysis. It is asking for your co-operation to send these seeds to SASA.

Email your details and a postal address to info@sasa.gov.scot

You will be sent a pre-paid self-addressed envelope and zip-lock bag. When you receive the envelope and zip-lock bag please insert the packet of seeds into the zip-lock bag and seal. Then place the zip-lock bag and contents into the envelope and post it back to SASA.

If you receive further unsolicited packages, please report them again using info@sasa.gov.scot

NFU Scotland - Argyll & the Islands Region
NFU Scotland - Ayrshire Region
NFU Scotland - Forth & Clyde Region
NFU Scotland East Central
NFU Scotland - Dumfries and Galloway region
NFUS North East Region
NFU Scotland - Lothians & Borders Region
Scottish Natural Heritage
Rural Matters


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 06:49 PM

How many old folkie hippies have already smoked them...???


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 06:42 AM

Penny:
I have, nagging at me, the idea that a song could come out of this.
"The first seed I planted ...." but at the moment nothing further is coming. A succession of plant based disasters involving photosensitivity, hallucinations, creepers growing over the whole house, and the neighbours, giant beans?
But it isn't developing and I don't have a tune.


"The monster I planted grew stronger than most
A seed that appeared, unasked, in the post.
Nobody could tell me quite how it would grow,
But now, in my terror, I know, yes I know!"

No tune, but (probably because it's in my head) it scans with "The Great Storm is Over" (see music thread above)


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Subject: RE: Mysterious unsolicited seeds from China
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 06:44 AM

"You swapped our cow for some beans/seeds? You must be stupid, Jack"


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