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07-29-20 | News

Unsolicited Packages Contain Seeds

Officials Advise Seeds Should Not be Planted

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with Customs and Border Patrol as well as state departments of agriculture to investigate the seeds and determine if they are harmful to agriculture or the environment.

Several states have had reports of unsolicited packages containing seeds being delivered to residents. The packages appear to be sent from China and according to agriculture officials, the seeds should not be planted or thrown in the trash.

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The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) states anyone who receives unsolicited mail with seeds should immediately contact their state plant regulatory official or APHIS state plant health director. All seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, should be kept until further instructions are given.

It is believed the deliveries are part of a "brushing" scam where unsolicited items are sent to a random address so sellers can post false reviews to increase ratings. However, officials urge people not to plant the seeds as it is not clear if they are invasive, harmful species or not. The USDA is testing the seeds to determine if they are of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.

To find your state plant regulatory official: https://tinyurl.com/y2zfup4z
To find your state plant health director: https://tinyurl.com/y6nze9nj

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