Unsolicited seeds from China appearing in mailboxes
Published 10:48 pm Monday, July 27, 2020
Unsolicited seed packages from China have been delivered to residents in Alabama and in other states across the country.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries reported that the seeds are being delivered through the United States Postal Service and are often mislabeled as “jewelry.”
Such practice is known as agricultural smuggling.
“We urge all residents to be on the lookout for similar packages. These seeds could be invasive or be harmful to livestock,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate.
The seeds can be of different sizes and colors.
The ADAI is currently asking all residents of unsolicited seeds not to plant the seeds and, if the seeds are in a sealed package, not to open the package and not to dispose of the seeds.
Suspicious seed deliveries should be reported to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection service at 1-800-877-3835. The seeds and packaging should be kept until the USDA provides further instructions.
Postmasters at the Banks and Brundidge post offices said no reports of the unsolicited seeds have been reported. Efforts to reach the Troy Police Office were not successful
State Rep. Wes Allen had words of caution for local residents regarding any unsolicited packages.
“If you receive any package in the mail that you did not order, do not open the package and alert the authorities,” he said.
Other than Alabama, residents have reported receiving suspicious packages of seeds in Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington State. On Monday afternoon, Georgia was added to the list.