The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says it has received reports from 750 people across the country regarding unrequested packages of seeds.
The agency says the seeds are from a range of plant species and have postmarks from differing countries, but they appear to be low-risk.
“In collaboration with the Canadian public, the CFIA continues to collect information on these unsolicited seed packages, including information about the contents, on the sender, return address (if any), postmark, and how the package was labelled,” reads a statement from the inspection agency.
CFIA adds that it still remains unclear as to why Canadians are receiving these mysterious seed packages.
The food inspection agency says it has been difficult to track the packages as they enter the country because they are being declared as toys or jewelry.
From an ongoing investigation, CFIA also suggests that the seed packages have been from a range of plant species, including tomato, strawberry, rose and citrus, as well as some weed seeds that are common in Canada (for example, shepherd’s purse and flixweed).
— Canadian Food Inspection Agency (@InspectionCan) August 6, 2020
One possibility, the agency added, could be that an e-commerce company is sending the seeds in an effort to boost its online sales and subsequently posting fake positive reviews – an act referred to as “brushing.”
It asked all Canadians who receive the packages of seeds to not plant them and report it to their local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.
The agency, along with the Canada Border Services Agency and Canada Post is continuing to investigate the origins of the seeds.
With files to Canadian Press.