People across the United States are reporting receiving an unsolicited package of seeds from China in the mail.
On July 24, 2020, the Washington State Department of Agriculture posted about the incident on Facebook and said the seeds are being sent in packages that usually state the contents are jewelry.
“Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock,” stated the post. The post has received over 6,000 comments and been shared over 196,000 times in just 8 hours.
Facebook user Kathleen Mary, added a photo in the comments and said she lives in Arizona and also received seeds from China. The packaging was similar, however, the seeds were smaller and darker.
Tonya Wallace commented on the post and shared a photo of the seeds she received. “It’s not a joke. I got some the other day!!!” Tonya’s package description stated “Rose flower stud earring” but she received small brown seeds. Tonya confirmed she hasn’t placed any recent orders for seeds.
Cathi Lee Fuller, a resident of Indiana, also posted a photo and said she received them in today’s mail. “Look’s like it’s all across the country,” she commented.
Here’s what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:
1) DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging (as in the photo below) don’t open the sealed package.
2) This is known as agricultural smuggling. Report it to USDA and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA instructs you what to do with the packages and seeds. They may be needed as evidence. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/…/impor…/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling