Mystery Chinese seeds "innocuous" say experts, but please don't plant them

Mysterious packages of seeds have been turning up in American mailboxes, mailed from China. The consensus is that vendors are using the seeds to create "completed shipment" data as cheaply as possible to run up their ratings on Amazon and other online marketplaces.

Though officials worried the seeds might include invasive species, tests so far show they are "innocuous", reports CBS News. Mustard, cabbage, morning glory, mint, sage, rosemary and lavender are among the gifts falling from the cracks in the Amazon Marketplace.

Nonetheless, don't plant them, experts say. Read the FAQ posted by the USDA as a nice convenient PDF.

Robin Pruisner, a state seed control official at the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in Iowa, told Reuters that she has heard reports of a coating of possible insecticide or fungicide on the seeds, which could prove especially harmful to crops.

And if you receive them, it means someone knows enough about you to mail stuff to you and use the delivery confirmation to pose you as a verified customer on some online platform or other.