Receive a pack of seeds from China? Don’t plant them!

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Across the U.S., people are reporting receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds from China in the mail. State agricultural departments from 30 states are asking those who receive them to not open them, and by all means not plant them.

Recipients are asked to email the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – Plant Protection and Quarantine office in Hermon, ME, at (207) 848-0008 or by visiting horticulture@maine.gov. Recipients should hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from USDA gets in touch with further instructions.

The seeds are usually sent in white packages displaying Chinese lettering and the words “China Post.” Most recipients say they did not order anything, and that the packaging was labeled as jewelry. Some recipients have reported ordering seeds on Amazon and receiving these seeds.

Sid Miller, Texas agriculture commissioner, urged Texans not to plant these seeds, as they could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe, according to a release. Invasive species are organisms not native to a certain region. The introduction of invasive species could cause the destruction of native crops, introduce diseases to native plants and could be dangerous to livestock.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine Smuggling, Interdiction and Trade Compliance Unit is currently investigating.

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Dry Creek
8 days ago

When I got mine in the mail (P.O. Box) I decided not to take *any* chances, so I threw them out the window on the drive home.

Leilani W.
11 days ago

As a retired federal agriculture inspector, I have seized many, many pounds of seeds that people or companies tried to bring into the USA illegally. Some other posts have shown pictures of Ipomoea aquatic (water spinach) which is highly invasive to ponds, streams, etc. Also, it is unknown if any of these seeds have been inoculated or dusted with plant toxins, if any are an unknown hybrid species, or just perhaps be toxic to other plant growth. If you receive any seeds packaged as described, DO NOT open the package. DO NOT throw out the package (the covering may rot and the seeds will possibly be able to grow. CALL THE USDA-APHIS-PPQ OR YOUR LOCAL STATE/COUNTY AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER. They will provide advice on how to handle the shipment. These seeds must be identified and examined for possible harm to our crops. Remember, the USA feeds the world.

Alvin
11 days ago
Reply to  Leilani W.

Good points Leilani, but the USA “feeds the world” ???

What about western Canada’s grain and vegetable crops. Per capita we’re (I’m Canadian) a plenty big player in the “feeding the world” paradigm.

Bonnie A Hanely
11 days ago

The article requests you to email the USDA if you receive a packet of seeds but Unless I’m missing it, the article doesn’t give an email address for the USDA

Mike Albert
10 days ago

Not to sound rude, but you probably have access to internet since you are responding to an article in this news letter. You could look up USDA on the net for their address instead of asking someone else to do it for you.
It amazes me how many people become helpless in matters like this and expect others to provide an address.
Would it have been helpful, yes. BUT I’m not helpless.