DO NOT PLANT: Mysterious Seeds Being Sent to Several States From China
Beware! Do not plant mysterious seeds being sent from China.
The unsolicited seeds are being mailed to several different states and agriculture officials are warning people not to plant them.
“Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry (or other items) but which actually contain plant seeds," said New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball. "Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating."
Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock.
Kelsi Pigman says she was sent the mystery seeds. "They're listed as untracked and if you look at the description it shows that it's a wire connector," she shared on Facebook.
Pigman is in Florida, but reports of unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in New York as well as Utah, Virginia, Washington, Louisiana and the United Kingdom. And not all the seed are the same. The seeds at the top were sent to Washington State and look a lot different than the ones Pigman received in Florida.
These ones below went to someone in Louisiana.
“Right now, we are uncertain what types of seeds are in the package," said Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain. “We need to identify the seeds to ensure they do not pose a risk to the agricultural industry or the environment," said Strain.
Anyone who receives a mysterious packages is asked to call their state Agriculture Department.
Don't open the sealed package and DO NOT plant them.
The USDA says this is known as agricultural smuggling and are asking anyone to report it to USDA by sending your full name, telephone number and seed photos. Keep the seeds and packaging until USDA tells you what to do with the them. They may be needed as evidence.