seeds

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Mystery Seeds a 'Much Larger' Operation Than We Thought

Thousands of Americans may have planted them, while others admitted to eating them, per Vice

(Newser) - Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans planted the mystery seeds they received in the mail over the summer, against the advice of US authorities, while others decided to pop them in their mouths. That's according to Jason Koebler at Vice , who read through "thousands of internal emails" from state... More »

Seed Mystery Leads Amazon to Cut Off Foreign Sales in US

USDA is analyzing 2.5K of the packets sent to homes

(Newser) - Until the mystery of the unsolicited seed packets is solved, Amazon is throwing a wrench into the supply chain. Foreign sellers have been told they can no longer ship plant or seed products through its site into the US, the Wall Street Journal reports; the packets often have China postmarks.... More »

Some Mystery Seeds Mailed to Americans Identified

But you still shouldn't plant them, officials say

(Newser) - Some of the mystery seeds appearing in packages sent to Americans from China have been identified by botanists at a federal agency, but officials still say you shouldn't plant the seeds if you received them. The US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it has... More »

US Officials Warn About 'Mystery Packets' From China

Is it a simple business scam, or something worse?

(Newser) - All 50 states are warning Americans about mysterious seed packages sent unsolicited to their doorsteps—mostly from China, USA Today reports. The US Dept. of Agriculture suspects a simple business scam, but some officials say it could be a poison pill to damage crops: "I've had people describe... More »

Those Strange Seeds You Got in the Mail? Don't Plant Them

Officials in several states warn unsolicited packets may be from China, other overseas locations

(Newser) - "Do not plant seeds from unknown origins." That's the warning issued by Mike Strain, Louisiana's agriculture commissioner, after people in his state and several others say they've received unasked-for packages of seeds in the mail, which officials say may have come from China or other... More »

Cherokee Nation: 'This Is History in the Making'

US tribe is first to deposit heirloom seeds in global vault

(Newser) - "There will always be a part of the Cherokee Nation in the world," declares the Native American tribe, which will be the first to store its heirloom seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, better known as the "doomsday vault." In a statement , Senior Director of... More »

Arm Wrestler Arrested Over Apricot Seeds. Again

Jason Vale, mom allegedly made $850K for selling them as a cure for cancer

(Newser) - A two-time national arm wrestling champion will need more than muscle to escape charges that he made $850,000 selling "the answer to cancer" online. Cancer survivor Jason Vale, 51, has long attributed his health and success to apricot seeds. In fact, this is his second bust over the... More »

Doomsday Vault Hits the 1M Mark

As the Global Seed Vault turns 10

(Newser) - Monday was a "really significant" day for the so-called Doomsday Vault—and not just because it was its 10th birthday. The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, has since 2008 stored seeds within a mountain on a Norwegian island 800 miles from the North Pole, and on Monday the... More »

Army's New Push: Ammo That Grows Plants

It wants biodegradable bullets for training grounds

(Newser) - At US military training facilities, spent shell casings are scattered across proving grounds, many buried several inches below ground. What if they were biodegradable and contained seeds that would sprout into beneficial plants over time? It may sound a bit utopian, but the US Department of Defense has just released... More »

'Doomsday Vault' Sees Its First Withdrawal

Spurred by the Syrian civil war

(Newser) - The "Doomsday Vault" just got its first bit of doomsday press: coverage of its first-ever withdrawal of seeds. Since 2008, the vault has sat on a Norwegian island in the Svalbard archipelago, 800 miles from the North Pole where the soil is always frozen. It's a place so... More »

Feds: We Have a Way to Fix Land After Disasters

Authorities say it will make damaged land more resilient

(Newser) - Federal authorities announced a plan today to produce massive quantities of seeds from native plants that can be quickly planted to help land recover from natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes. The program will make landscapes more resilient and healthier, especially Western rangelands where massive wildfires have been an... More »

'Doomsday Vault' Gets First Tree Seeds

Spruce and pine among new collection added to Svalbard Global Seed Vault

(Newser) - The " Doomsday Vault " sits on an Arctic Island, quietly helping to protect our future. At first, it mostly collected and stored food crops, but it recently got its first shipment of tree seeds, Wired reports. Norway spruce and Scots pine are, of course, not much of a meal,... More »

'Doomsday Vault' Gets Sizable Birthday Present

Sleep easy tonight: Key miso ingredient is now safe

(Newser) - Earth is now slightly better prepared for an agricultural apocalypse: The "Doomsday Vault" is 20,000-species stronger as of this week— its sixth birthday . A new wave of seed varieties were deposited that hail from more than 100 countries and represent a "sort of winter Olympics of crop... More »

Chinese Spy Stole Iowa Corn Seeds: Feds

FBI tracked alleged corporate spy through corn fields

(Newser) - Corporate espionage ... in an Iowa cornfield? Federal agents caught an alleged Chinese spy last week trying to smuggle highly valuable "inbred" cord seeds out of the country, prosecutors say. Mo Hailong is accused of stealing the seeds from fields in Illinois and Iowa and trying to evade FBI agents... More »

Farmer, 75, Takes on Monsanto

Soybean seed case hits Supreme Court this week

(Newser) - Vernon Hugh Bowman, a 75-year-old Indiana farmer, is taking on agribusiness heavyweight Monsanto in a case hitting the Supreme Court tomorrow. Monsanto says Bowman, who has been using Monsanto's soybean seeds happily for years, is infringing its patents when he plants a second crop of soybeans each year. The... More »

Seed Shortage Buries Hopes for Record Corn Crop

Corn prices may hit record high this year

(Newser) - American farmers had been planning the biggest corn planting since World War II this spring, but they're being thwarted by a seed shortage. Drought conditions in the Midwest and Great Plains last year have caused what dealers in the corn belt say is the biggest shortage of top-quality seeds... More »

Latest Culprit in E. coli Crisis: Egyptian Seeds

And contaminated ones may still be out there: officials

(Newser) - A new culprit has emerged in the deadliest E. coli outbreak in recorded history: Egyptian fenugreek seeds. Experts had already tracked the crisis to sprouts ; now, “tracing back is progressing and has thus far shown that fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt either in 2009 and/or 2010 are implicated” in... More »

Monsanto Contracts Strangle Competition: Report

Licenses forbid mixing Monsanto genes with competitors'

(Newser) - Monsanto, the country’s dominant seed business, is squeezing competitors with stringent licensing agreements that protect its incredibly dominant position in the industry. Monsanto’s licenses prevent companies from breeding plants that contain both Monsanto’s genes and those of competitors, an AP investigation reveals, effectively locking competitors out of... More »

Birdfeeding Changes Evolution

Free lunch rocks birds' futures

(Newser) - Darwin never made allowances for birdfeeders, but modern-day scientists have discovered that giving feathered friends a helping hand can have profound evolutionary consequences. Filling up birdfeeders with seeds and suet can convince birds to hang around for the free lunch, rather than take off of their migratory routes, researchers have... More »

Invest in Gardens, Where Yields Make Wall St. Blush

25-to-1 return includes benefits 'that, literally, money can’t buy,' seed-seller says

(Newser) - With the economic outlook darkening, there’s still one good investment that will help you weather the downturn, George Ball writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: a garden. The “astonishing garden-grown return on investment is not modern-day speculative sleight-of-hand, but real, tangible and fungible,” the chairman of the Burpee... More »

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