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The U.S. Department of Agriculture identified more than a dozen of the unsolicited seeds sent to Americans mostly from China that have sparked warnings in all 50 states, per USA Today.

Catch up quick: Small packets of seeds have been shipped to seemingly random American households nationwide. While most species identified seem to be innocuous herbs, officials have advised recipients not to plant the seeds for fear they could be invasive or harmful to humans.

  • But the USDA wrote in a statement on Friday: "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."
  • USDA is collecting the seed packages from recipients and will test their contents to determine whether they contain anything that could damage U.S. agriculture or the environment.
  • Species included in the packets include: morning glory, hibiscus, roses, cabbage and herbs including mint, sage, rosemary and lavender.

Go deeper

Focus group: Red flags for Biden infrastructure plan

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Some swing voters say President Biden needs to better explain who'll pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan — and they'll only back bipartisan legislation that's paid for by corporations, not the middle class.

Why it matters: These takeaways from our latest Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups offer crucial context for an administration basing much of its legislative strategy on polls showing Americans notionally favor spending on roads, bridges, job training and broadband access.

Polish leader says U.S. must show democracy's resilience

Radosław Sikorski. Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency and the Jan. 6 Capitol assault are signals that people are “less enamored” by democracy, a former Polish foreign minister who has the ear of the White House and Congress tells Axios.

Why it matters: Radosław Sikorski, currently a member of the European Parliament, said it’s critical that democratic countries like the U.S. now showcase their resilience to the world.