States issue warnings about unsolicited seeds mailed from China
Mysterious packages of seeds sent from China have been showing up in people’s mailboxes all over the country.
Kentucky’s Commissioner of Ag Ryan Quarles tells Brownfield they’re advising people not to open the packages and instead should contact their state department of agriculture. “So we can get this plant material to APHIS,” he says. “I think you’re going to see this week a national plan now that this issue has become elevated. Residents shouldn’t plant these seeds, they need to get them to the proper authority in their respective states.”
He says officials are still unsure why the packages have been sent, but it needs to be taken seriously. “Even the smallest risk could have disastrous results,” he says. “History has taught us several times over about big of a mess invasive species can be if introduced into an environment either intentionally or unintentionally.”
Quarles says the packages have contained a variety of seeds. There have also been reports that the mailings are labeled as jewelry for customs purposes.
He says the packages should be placed in an air-tight plastic baggie and under no circumstances be opened, planted, or discarded in the trash.
The mailings appear to be random and reports have been confirmed in several states.
AUDIO: Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture